The Effect of Cherry Juice on Cognitive Function: A Randomised Cross-Over Trial.
(2017) The Effect of Cherry Juice on Cognitive Function: A Randomised Cross-Over Trial., no. 42.
Background - High intake of fruit and vegetables has been associated with providing beneficial effects in various debilitating diseases and improving cognitive performance in older populations. These beneficial effects have been accredited to the flavonoids present in fruit and vegetables, which have been documented to have anti-inflammatory effects and enhance neuronal function. Tart cherries, in particular Montmorency cherries have shown to have beneficial effects in cognitive performance in older adults, however little research has been done investigating a younger and older population. Objective - To investigate if cherry juice supplemented with 5% Montmorency cherry can improve cognitive function in a younger and older population. Design - In a randomised cross over study design 24 participants aged 18-25 (n=14) and aged 50-70 (n=11) consumed either cherry juice or strawberry Volvic water (250ml/day for 7 days) in week 1. Cognitive assessment was evaluated using a battery of 3 tests (Stroop, Digit Span and Corsi Block test) and assessed at the start and end of week 1. Week 2 consisted of a 7 day washout period for all participants. In week 3 participants crossed over into the remaining group and repeated the cognitive assessments at the start and end of week 3. Blood pressure was measured at the beginning and end of week 1 and 3. Results - Statistically significant results were observed in the Stroop (p=0.04) and Digit span test (p=0.04) in the aged 50-70 group after supplementation with tart cherry juice. No statistically significant results were seen in the aged 18-25 group in regards to supplementation with cherry juice. Conclusion - To conclude, the findings from this present study indicate that regular intake of cherry juice over 7 days has the potential to improve cognitive performance in individuals aged 50-70. No effect was seen in the younger age group in regards to the intervention. Keywords: Ageing, Montmorency tart cherry, antioxidants, cognitive performance.