The Effect of Pomegranate Juice on Executive Cognitive Function in Males Aged 18 – 35 At Risk Of Mild Brain Trauma.
Background - Increased dietary intake of polyphenols present in fruit have been proven to alleviate cognitive decline in the older population associated from ageing and neurodegenerative diseases in chronic studies. They are thought to work by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress key in the pathology of neuronal death. Concussions however have also been shown to produce oxidative stress and to have a profound effect on cognition even in later years regardless of when the injury had occurred. Pomegranate juice during investigations has produced much greater polyphenol counts than other tested substances therefore sparking interest of using pomegranate juice during studies in this field. Little research has been done to investigate the acute benefits of polyphenols on younger generations at risk of cognitive dysfunction. Objective - To investigate if 250ml of Bioma pomegranate juice acutely improves executive cognitive function in males aged 18 - 35 at risk of mild brain trauma Design - A double blind randomised cross over study design was conducted on 16 participants who were randomly allocated to either group one or 2 .The two groups were then given their assigned drinks, either Biona pomegranate juice or Volvic berry medley juice acting as a control. A baseline online Stroop test was completed after which measurements of height, weight and blood glucose were taken and questionnaires and diet diaries were filled out by participants. One hour after consuming the juice and carrying out the first Stroop test a second Stroop test was completed by participants. A one week washout period separated the test days on which the second test day the groups were given the opposite juice they received the first test day. Baseline Stroop test and blood glucose test were repeated as before and the second Stroop test was completed an hour after the juice was drank. Results - The only statistically significant results observed during this study were the decrease in reaction time between baseline and after intervention Stroop tests for both the pomegranate group and the Volvic group (p = 0.005 and p = 0.046 respectively) . All other variables analysed were found not to be significant. Conclusion - To conclude, acute supplementation of both juices were shown to decrease reaction times, however results were not significantly different from each other suggesting that other factors may have played a part in the outcome and warranting future investigation. Keywords: Pomegranate juice, Cognition, Polyphenols, Concussion, Stroop