A pilot study showing the feasibility for investigating the effects of tart cherry juice on cognitive and cardiovascular health in older adults aged 50 to 70 years
Kim, M. (2017) A pilot study showing the feasibility for investigating the effects of tart cherry juice on cognitive and cardiovascular health in older adults aged 50 to 70 years, no. 54.
Aim - There have been studies in which the health effects of flavonoid rich food are investigated. Flavonoids and phytonutrient, found in various foods, are known to have multiple health benefits through their antioxidant activity. For example, tart cherries contain two sub-types of flavonoids; anthocyanins and flavonols. These fruits, especially rich in anthocyanins, have been found to enhance cognitive and cardiovascular functions during several studies. The aim of this pilot study is to analyse the common methodology for investigating the effects of tart cherry juice on cardiovascular and cognitive health in older adults from the results and suggest ideal research methods. Methodology - This pilot study is a randomised open-labelled study. Five healthy adults aged 50 to 70 years with a BMI of less than 30kg/m2 were recruited in Edinburgh. The study involved two drinks: commercially available tart cherry juice and cherry flavoured water. Ferric ion reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and Folin-Ciocalteu assays revealed that tart cherry juice had significantly higher levels of both polyphenols and antioxidant activity than cherry flavoured water. Subjects were asked to consume 250ml of one of these treatments twice daily for fourteen days. Cardiovascular measurements included systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse wave velocity (PWV). Cognitive function was measured by two distinct tests; trail making test (TMT) and serial sevens test. Four measurements were taken: baseline characteristics before the consumption, acute effects two hours after drinking the first treatment, short-term effects taken after two weeks, the last measurement taken one day after halting the consumption. Results - Analysis of results from this study was not sufficient to confirm significant differences in both cardiovascular and cognitive functions. Nevertheless, it suggests the feasibility of undertaking a similar study in the future.