The effectiveness of cherry juice consumption on cognitive and cardiovascular function in healthy adults: a pilot study
Giannakidou, E. (2017) The effectiveness of cherry juice consumption on cognitive and cardiovascular function in healthy adults: a pilot study, no. 83.
Background: Tart cherry juice contains high concentrations of flavonoids and anthocyanins, which have been linked to improved cognition, while several studies have shown a beneficial effect on blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of tart-cherry juice on cognitive function and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy adults and to define an appropriate methodology design. Methods: An open-label randomised placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted on healthy adults. The participants consumed 250ml of either commercially available tart-cherry juice by Biona (intervention) or 250ml cherry-flavoured water by Volvic (placebo) twice daily for 14 days. Participants were asked to visit Queen Margaret University three times over the duration of the study (16 days), undertaking cognitive tests and BP measurements. Cognitive function was measured by the Trail-Making test and the Serial-Sevens test which evaluate executive function and short-term memory. The cardiovascular function was measured by blood pressure monitor and pulse wave velocity. FRAP and the Folin-Ciocaltreau method was used for the calculation of antioxidant level and total phenolics of the cherry juice. The participants' height, weight, and age were recorded at baseline. Measurements were taken at baseline, 2 hours after drinking the juice on the same day, on day 15 at the end of the intervention and one day follow-up to evaluate if the effects of the intervention persist. For the statistical analysis SPSS and Excel were used. Results: PWV (p=0.042) and Trail-Making test (p<0.001) were found significant for the treatment group, while comparison of treatment (n=3) and control group (n=2) showed that the SBP (p<0.001) and DBP (p<0.001) and PP (p=0.007) and the Trail-Making test (p=0.050) were significant. Conclusion: The results indicate that cherry juice can improve cognitive and cardiovascular function and the study suggests further work in this area may be of value.