Grape News! for memory decline

Sharon Bonin-Pratt is an artist, writer and one of the most compassionate people I know.  On her Ink Flare blog she often posts about her journey with her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.  Shari’s poignant and  personal account has made me all the more aware of research and issues surrounding this punishing disease.

Since we believe that “food is medicine” here’s research that impacts not only Alzheimer’s but all brains.

Grape Friends by Peggy

“Consuming grapes twice a day for six months protected against significant metabolic decline in Alzheimer-related areas of the brain in a study of people with early memory decline. Low metabolic activity in these areas of the brain is a hallmark of early stage Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Study results showed a grape-enriched diet protected against the decline of metabolic activity. Additionally, those consuming a grape-enriched diet also exhibited increased metabolism in other areas of the brain that correlated with individual improvements in attention and working memory performance, compared to those on the non-grape diet. Results of the randomized controlled research study, conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, were recently published in Experimental Gerontology.”

“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,” said Dr. Daniel H. Silverman, lead investigator of the study. 

“In the study, subjects with early memory decline were randomly selected to receive either whole grape powder – equivalent to just 2 ¼ cups of grapes per day – or a polyphenol-free placebo powder matched for flavor and appearance. Cognitive performance was measured at baseline and 6 months later. Changes in brain metabolism, assessed by brain PET scans, were also measured at baseline and 6 months later.”

“The results showed that consuming grapes preserved healthy metabolic activity in the regions of the brain that are affected by the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease, where metabolic decline takes hold. Subjects who didn’t consume grapes exhibited significant metabolic decline in these critical regions. Additionally, those consuming the grape-enriched diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated to improvements in cognition and working memory performance.”

“Grape polyphenols help promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Research suggests that grapes may help support brain health by working in multiple ways – from reducing oxidative stress in the brain to promoting healthy blood flow in the brain to helping maintain levels of a key brain chemical that promotes memory to exerting anti-inflammatory effects.”

Read the entire article, click here: Grapes Benefit Brain Health


14 comments on “Grape News! for memory decline

    • Linda,
      Red grapes have some of the good stuff. See Judy’s response to Mama Cormier about wine–there are pros and cons. Then go have have some wine WITH your bunch of grapes!!


    • Carol,
      Red grapes apparently contain more of the “good” stuff. The research is very mixed about alcohol. Wine consumption has been strongly implicated in breast cancer but is also seen as heathy (if there’s no history of cancer) for longevity if consumed in extreme moderation.

      However, it is far healthier to eat the grape rather than drink it, just as it’s healthier to eat whole fruits and vegetable rather than juice them. The skins, in and of themselves, provide needed nutrients.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Funny how these things work.. but I was JUST reading about all the amazing benefits of grapes, in particular black grapes and those with seeds. Your post adds interesting information re Alzheimers, we did not know this and adds to the motivation to up the grape content. I have some concern though about the pesticide dimension, as there are no organic grapes here in Sri Lanka to the best of my knowledge. I guess we will just have to wash them well! Interesting post and love the grape drawing.

    Peta & Ben


    • Peta,
      It made sense to us when we read the article that grapes might help since wine has been so well studied. The whole food is always better than the juice. I loved Peggy’s grape drawing too – did you see the mouse?


  2. Very interesting research and cheering if you like grapes. I do and also have a grape vine
    growing in the garden which produces red grapes. 🙂 all said and done I believe that all fresh berries contain a lot of goodness. The more organic the better.
    Here goes, more grapes n shopping list


    • Miriam,
      I have a grape vine, in a pot, which just sits there soaking up the sun and not producing babies. Might need to plant it so it gets more stretching room. Peta commented that grapes with seeds are better for you. I need to research that.

      You are right – berries are one of the best foods around – I put them in cake and cookies and scones to combat the refined sugar . . . so far I think the sugar is the stronger combatant.


  3. How can you not love a post about eating grapes and berries? Yum yum! I’ve heard that it’s red grapes, the darker hued varieties, that are healthier. And that alcohol, especially red wine, should be consumed every day, a glass being sufficient, especially to forestall Alzheimer’ s.

    Unfortunately I dislike wine and nearly all alcohol. However, I love red grapes and have been eating them more often. Purple cat has my vote. Is the little mousie drinking Manischevitz?

    And thank you very kindly for the shout out for my blog.


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