Some good news for people who like their grapes in a nonalcoholic format (possible subscription wall):
Toasting with grape juice may carry brain-sparing benefits, according to research presented here 24 February at the World Parkinson’s Congress. In a series of cognitive and motor tests, grape juice-drinking rats outshined their placebo-swilling counterparts, possibly due to an enhanced release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.
…[R]esearchers fed the rodents a diet consisting exclusively of either grape juice (10% or 50%, diluted with water) or a calorie- and flavor-matched placebo. After six weeks, the team tested the rats for motor skills such as balance, stamina, and strength. Rats on the 50% juice diet outperformed those on either the 10% juice diet or the placebo diet; they were able to hang onto a wire for an average 2 seconds longer than the others, for example.
In cognitive tests and measures of dopamine release, however, the rats on the 10% juice diet started to shine. They learned to navigate a water maze (what’s that?) about 20 seconds faster after a trial run, compared to improvements of only 3 or 4 seconds in the other groups. They also had a 60% higher release of dopamine, compared to no change in rats on the other two diets. The release of neurotransmitters like dopamine is compromised in aging brains, says Joseph, who will also report his findings next month in Nutrition, so polyphenols and other chemicals in grape juice may help spark new communication between older brain cells. Joseph says further experiments will be needed to determine why relatively high concentrations of juice are better for some tasks than others.
Wine and dark Concord grape juice already offer advantages from a class of antioxidants called polyphenols, read what the pros say here or check here for our write-up. It’s always cool to see another health benefit from something that we already enjoy.
I really love how medicine and science have kind of come full circle. It used to be that the only options that existed were from natural sources. Then, we seemed to go through a period where everybody was poo-poohing that, and medicine was all about the modern chemicals and treaments. We now seem to be getting to a point where we’re able to objectively take the best of both worlds. Promising stuff.
Who the heck sells resveratrol? I can’t find it anywhere. Have to mail order?
David Sinclair, the guy who discovered the stuff, recommends a brand called Longevinex. It ran for about $1 a pill the last time I checked.
Bruce in Alta California
My niece once got after my aging father for eating a Hostess Twinkee. “Gramps, those things are full of preservatives!”
“Missy,” the old sage replied, “At my age you need all the preservatives you can get.”
The Other Steve
Good. I like grape juice.
I hate it when I read articles about the wonderful health benefits of some crap I can’t stand. Like Broccoli or Salmon.
“grape juice-drinking rats outshined…”
Well here is a fine thing. Grape juice, huh?
Is this a good place to ask a question?
Am I the only person who noticed that President Bush once spoke of his desire to revive the Mars space mission, and then a Texas company became involved in the establishment of a prototype space-colony facility in the Mideast, in the Unites Arab Emirate Republic? (I hope I got that right, I hate googling for old articles)
Some other interesting factoids: Texas also pioneered the space colony facility concept with Moody Gardens, has NASA in the port of Houston, (how does Houston figure in that port deal? Damn! Gotta google again!) and….
I’m not really sure where I am going with this, but I think the Dems need to stop giving the Republicans such a hard time about not doing anything about the environmental health of the planet.
Bush appears to have a plan.
And it’s working.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like a little more grape juice……