Saturday science subject: Alzheimer's and apple juice


— 3:50 PM on January 24, 2009

Besides being tasty and refreshing, apple juice could also help keep your mind sharp as you age. Indeed, according to research by Dr. Thomas B. Shea and his team from the University of Massachusetts's Center for Cellular Neurobiology, drinking apple juice may stave off the onset of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily has the scoop:

[Shea] and his research team have carried out a number of laboratory studies demonstrating that drinking apple juice helped mice perform better than normal in maze trials, and prevented the decline in performance that was otherwise observed as these mice aged.

In the most recent study Shea and his team demonstrated that mice receiving the human equivalent of 2 glasses of apple juice per day for 1 month produced less of a small protein fragment, called "beta-amyloid" that is responsible for forming the "senile plaques" that are commonly found in brains of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Shea himself sums up, "These findings provide further evidence linking nutritional and genetic risk factors for age-related neurodegeneration and suggest that regular consumption of apple juice can not only help to keep one's mind functioning at its best, but may also be able to delay key aspects of Alzheimer's disease and augment therapeutic approaches."

   
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