Eat grapes twice a day to keep Alzheimer’s at bay

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EATING a handful of grapes could stave off Alzheimer’s disease and boost memory, scientists claim. Just two portions of the popular fruit helps to protect against early signs of cognitive decline, a new study found.
While consuming the finger food for just six months also helped to significantly boost memory, according to research funded by grape-growers. Experts believe that compounds found in the fruit help to maintain levels of a key chemical in maintaining brain health. And they also suggested that they can promote blood flow – of which an inadequate supply is thought to fuel dementia.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, took 10 randomly selected people who were suffering from early cognitive decline. They were given either whole grape powder – equivalent to 72g of the fruit each day, or a placebo.
Cognitive ability was measured both at the beginning of the experiment and at six months after, while PET scans were used to assess changes in metabolism. Low metabolic activity in these areas of the brain is a hallmark of early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Eating grapes preserved healthy metabolic activity in regions of the brain affected by the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While the study, published in Experimental Gerontology, also showed improvements in cognition, memory and metabolism for those eating grapes.
Study author Dr Daniel Silverman said: ‘The study examines the impact of grapes as a whole fruit versus isolated compounds and the results suggest that regular intake of grapes may provide a protective effect against early decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. ‘This pilot study contributes to the growing evidence that supports a beneficial role for grapes in neurological and cardiovascular health.
‘However, more clinical studies with larger groups of subjects are needed to confirm the effects observed here.’ The research was research funded by the California Table Grape Commission – an organization designed to maintain and expand markets for fresh California grapes.
In December, doctors warned that those under the age of five can choke to death while eating grapes whole. Experts from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary said the fruit can be larger than a young child’s airway and have the potential of forming a tight seal in their throat. They revealed grapes are the third most common cause of food related choking – after hot dogs and sweets.

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