New University of Leeds Study in AJCN: Drinking Concord Grape Juice May Benefit Cognitive Function and Driving Performance in Busy Women Managing Everyday Stress

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The relationship between Concord grape juice consumption and cognition is an emerging, but growing area of research – specifically with regards to age-related memory decline.1,2 Now, for the first time, researchers have shown that the cognitive health effects associated with the Concord grape are not exclusive to older adults and that younger, healthy women may also benefit from drinking 100% juice made from this dark purple berry.

The relationship between Concord grape juice consumption and cognition is an emerging, but growing area of research – specifically with regards to age-related memory decline.(1,2) Now, for the first time, researchers have shown that the cognitive health effects associated with the Concord grape are not exclusive to older adults and that younger, healthy women may also benefit from drinking 100% juice made from this dark purple berry.

Background: A new double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover study, published in the March 2016 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sought to determine whether daily Concord grape juice consumption could provide cognitive benefits and help busy adults with everyday tasks. A group of scientists from the University of Leeds conducted the research which focused on individuals particularly prone to stress: mothers juggling the demands of a career and raising pre-teenagers.(3)

Results and Key Takeaways: Daily Concord grape juice consumption was associated with improvements in certain aspects of memory and driving safety. Additionally, the researchers found that the beneficial effects associated with the Concord grape continued even after participants stopped drinking this juice, suggesting that the plant nutrients, or polyphenols, in this grape may have a prolonged impact on cognitive wellbeing. Earlier research indicates – and the authors of this study affirm – that the benefits of grape juice are likely due to the Concord grape’s unique mix of polyphenols, specifically a certain type called flavonoids. In fact, this work builds on the nearly 20 years of science that says 100% grape juice made with the Concord grape helps support a healthy heart – likely because of the flavonoids found naturally in the grape’s skin and seeds. (4,5)

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: Louise Dye, PhD, Professor of Nutrition & Behaviour at the University of Leeds and lead researcher, is available for interviews or additional questions about this study. You can reach her by contacting Bree Flammini (bflammini(at)foodminds(dot)com).

If you are interested in speaking with a registered dietitian familiar with the research for an additional perspective, please reach out to Bree Flammini.

For more information about the health benefits of Concord grapes, including additional research on cognitive function, visit grapescience.com.

References
1. Krikorian R, Nash TA, Shidler MD, Shukitt-Hale B and Joseph JA. Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Br J Nutr. 2010. 103(5):730-734.
2. Krikorian R, Boespflug EL, Fleck DE, Stein AL, Wightman JD, Shidler MD and Sadat-Hossieny S. Concord grape juice supplementation and neurocognitive function in human aging. J Agric Food Chem. 2012. 60(23):5736-5742.
3. Lamport DJ, Lawton CL, Merat N, Jamson H, Myrissa K, Hofman D, Chadwick HK, Quadt F, Wightman JD, Dye L. Concord grape juice, cognitive function, and driving performance: a 12-wk, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover trial in mothers of preteen children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016. 103:775-83.
4. Vislocky LM and Fernandez ML. Biomedical Effects of Grape Products. Nutrition Reviews. 2010. 68(11): 656-670.
5. Vislocky LM, and Fernandez ML. Grapes and Grape Products: Their Role in Health. Nutr Today. 2013. 48(1):47-51.

About Welch’s
Welch’s provided funding to the University of Leeds to support this research. Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Located across America and in Ontario, Canada, the cooperative’s approximately 1,000 family farmers own the company and grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grapes used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers’ health and nutrition needs. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 40 countries around the globe. Welch’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer-Minorities/Female/Disabled/Veterans. http://www.welchs.com.

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Bree Flammini
FoodMinds
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