Tests suggest blackcurrant juice could improve mental performance and even help alleviate the symptoms of brain disorders such as Parkinson’s
A daily glass of blackcurrant juice could make you happier, more mentally agile and even help alleviate the symptoms of brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, scientists have found.
Researchers at New Zealand science company Plant & Food Research, working in collaboration with Northumbria University in the UK, organised a one-off study in which 36 adults were given either 250ml of blackcurrant juice, 250ml of blackcurrant extract or a placebo drink, before participating in a series of challenging metal performance tests.
The scientists found that by consuming either of the blackcurrant drinks, “attention and mood were improved while mental fatigue was reduced”.
The juice, which came from a variety of New Zealand blackcurrant called ‘Blackadder’, appeared to reduce the activity of a group of enzymes called monoamine oxidases, which regulate the brain’s levels of serotonin and dopamine – two chemicals which can affect mood and brain function.
The scientists believe that blackcurrants could therefore be used to help treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Crystal Haskell-Ramsay of Northumbria University said “This study is particularly exciting in that not only is it the first to demonstrate benefits to mental performance following blackcurrant consumption, but it is also the first to show benefits to mental performance following any berry in healthy young adults.”
The research has been published online in the Journal of Functional Food.
Story courtesy of The Telegraph