Health Portfolio Fall 2014

<< Back to Health & Wellness, October 2014

    Re-seeding Memory

    Pomegranates—the fruit believed by some to have been the “apple” that Eve plucked from Eden’s Tree of Knowledge—had a particularly scientific year in 2013, with 44 clinical trials investigating its health benefits. One of the most fruitful was a randomized, placebo-controlled study published by UCLA looking at how consuming eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily may affect memory. Participants all had mild cognitive impairment. Though Brian Morris, MD, associate director of executive health at UCLA, says the results are preliminary, the group drinking the pomegranate juice performed significantly better on memory tasks than the group receiving a similar-tasting non-pomegranate drink. The pomegranate group also showed signs of increased brain functioning during verbal and visual memory tasks. “Although the results are very compelling,” Morris says, the study involved just 28 patients over the course of only four weeks. “That said, this small, brief study offers some very encouraging possibilities for those concerned about their memory.” More studies are needed, however, before doctors can give pomegranate juice the official stamp of approval, he says. Morris also cautions that while pomegranate juice may have many potential health benefits, “it also contains a significant amount of sugar and calories, which needs to be considered before integrating it into an individual’s nutritional program. Consult with a physician before making any changes to a healthcare plan.”

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