We’ve all heard the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but did you ever think there was any truth to it?
Apples may really have huge health benefits especially on Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Dr. Thomas Shea and his colleagues at the University of Massachusetts did a clinical trial that shows apple juice fights AD. in as little as one month.
Dr. Shea’s research team studied 21 patients between the ages of 72 to 93. Each of the patients was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe AD. He gave them two four-ounce glasses of apple juice each day for a month. After just 30 days, his team noted major changes in mood and behavior. Changes included improvement in anxiety, depression and delusion.
People receiving apple juice were calmer, less agitated, and at the end of the day, had a better quality of life.
His findings were published in the June 2010 issue of the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.
Two glasses of apple juice each day for 30 days produced less “beta amyloid” – the protein fragment which forms “senile plaques” – which are often found in the brains of people with AD.
“Apple juice keep[s] one’s mind functioning at its best,” says Dr. Shea. “It may delay key aspects of AD.”
His team has also showed that apple juice increases the production of a brain transmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine helps slow the mental decline of people with AD. In that same study, he investigated whether apple juice could also improve memory. He put mice through a series of memory and learning maze tests. The mice who drank apple juice performed better on the memory tests.
“The study show[ed] that consumption of apple juice can help reduce problems associated with memory loss,” concluded Dr. Shea.
In another study by Dr. Larson he concluded, (observing 2,000 people over the course of 10 years) that people who drink fruit juice three times a week reduced the risk of AD by a whopping 76 percent. People who drank it twice a week reduced their risk by 16 percent.
Surprisingly, the best benefits came from drinking fruit juice, as opposed to whole fruit. Dr. Larson theorizes this is because of the higher antioxidant quota in juice. According to him, all-natural fruit juice uses the core, seeds and skin of the fruit. These are the parts of the fruit that have the highest concentration of natural antioxidants. It’s those parts that people usually skip – and thus miss the best antioxidant benefits.
He also notes that fruit juice contains more antioxidants than vitamin C or E supplements.
“The brain accumulates damage due to oxidation as we age,” says Dr. Larson. “If you protect the brain from that damage, you protect the person from AD.”
Team member Dr. Qi Dai says “drinking fruit juices was [linked] with a decreased risk of AD. These findings suggest that fruit juices play an important role in delaying AD.”
It’s important to note that the team used all-natural, pure fruit juices. Those juices shouldn’t be confused with high-sugar, “fruit” beverages, which only include a limited percentage of actual fruit juice.