[PHNUTR-L] Pomegranate juice may cut Alzheimer’s risk
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Mon Oct 9 06:58:21 PDT 2006
Colleagues, the following is FYI and does not necessarily reflect my own
opinion. I have no further knowledge of the topic. If you do not wish to
receive these posts, set your email filter to filter out any messages
coming from @nutritionucanlivewith.com and the program will remove
anything coming from me.
Pomegranate juice may cut Alzheimer’s risk
By Stephen Daniells
03/10/2006 - A daily glass of antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice could
halve the build-up of harmful proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease,
says a new animal study from the USA.
“This study is the first to show beneficial effects (both behavioral and
neuropathological) of pomegranate juice in an animal model of AD,” wrote
lead researcher Richard Hartman from Loma Linda University in California.
Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia and currently
affects over 13 million people worldwide. The direct and indirect cost
of Alzheimer care is over $100bn (€ 81bn) in the US alone. The direct
cost of Alzheimer care in the UK was estimated at £15bn (€ 22bn).
Although the mechanism of Alzheimer's is not clear, more support is
gathering for the build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits. The
deposits are associated with an increase in brain cell damage and death
from oxidative stress.
It is against the oxidative stress that the polyphenols appear to offer
Hartman and his co-workers supplemented the diets of transgenic mice
(APPsw/Tg2576) with pomegranate juice. This strain of mice are
engineered to express an amyloid precursor protein (APP) that leads to
an early onset of neurological degeneration and subsequently Alzheimer's
Between the ages of six and 12.5 months, the mice were divided into two
groups and received either plain water or a pomegranate juice (PJ) made
from concentrate (PomWonderful) diluted 1:160 or 1:80. “Since the PJ
concentrate is four times more concentrated than regular strength PJ
sold commercially, the dilutions of concentrate are approximately
equivalent to dilutions of 1:40 or 1:20 of non-concentrated PJ,”
Cognitive function was evaluated by subjecting the mice to a water maze
task, which requires the animal to swim and find a submerged platform in
a pool of water. As performance improves, the time decreases for the
mouse to escape the maze and the distance swum.
The mice given the pomegranate juice drink were found to negotiate the
maze significantly quicker (about 35 per cent) and swam a more direct
path (on average 3750 cm less) than the non-supplemented group, reported
the authors in the Elsevier journal Neurobiology of Disease (doi:
When the researchers examined the quantity of beta-amyloid deposits in
the brain cortex of the mice, it was found that the pomegranate
juice-supplemented groups had 50 per cent less of the protein than the
Being the first study into the potential protective role of pomegranate
concentrate and the antioxidant polyphenols contained within,
significantly more study is needed.
The data is based on pomegranate concentrate and no attempt was made by
the authors to discriminate the potentially ‘active' biochemicals in the
fruit that may offer protection independently or synergistically,
although they said the evidence suggests a complimentary effect of the
“The vast number of compounds in PJ, along with the evidence that these
compounds may act together in a synergistic fashion, suggests that
isolated components of pomegranate may not be as effective as dietary
supplementation with either the whole fruit or its juice,” said the
“These results suggest that further studies to validate and determine
the mechanism of these effects, as well as whether substances in PJ may
be useful in Alzheimer's Disease, should be considered,” they concluded.
The work follows a recent epidemiological study into the possible role
of fruit and vegetable juices reducing the risk of Alzheimer's (The
American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 119, pp. 751-759), a result that was
also linked to the polyphenol, rather than the vitamin content of the
fruit and vegetables.
The researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that
people drinking juices three or more times per week were 76 per cent
less likely to develop signs of Alzheimer's disease than those who drank
less than one serving per week. This was after taking into account
dietary intake of vitamins E, C and beta-carotene.
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
More information about the PHNUTR-L