(Natural News) Cranberry juice, which is full of antioxidants, demonstrates various health benefits and it is often used to prevent age-related brain decline. According to a study, cranberry extract (CBE) may even help treat Alzheimer’s disease.
A natural part of life, aging is often linked to the accumulation of damages “at the molecular, cellular, and organ levels.” Damage like this causes a decline in overall bodily functions, and can also cause age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease, and its symptoms include gradual memory loss and impaired cognitive ability in older patients. The accumulation of beta-amyloid toxicity or beta-amyloid-like proteins in the brain is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is now a major public health concern around the world, and because of this, the study authors set out to determine if cranberry extract could be used to treat or halt the progress of the condition.
Other studies have implied that diet significantly affects age-related disorders while nutraceuticals can help prevent these conditions, like Alzheimer’s. (Related: Black Currant: Natural Rescue from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.)
Since Alzheimer’s is linked to aging, the development of the disease can be managed via genes that regulate lifespan and healthspan. The researchers posited that in the same vein, cranberry extract may be used to prove if supplementation at various stages of the subject’s life can prevent Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, beta-amyloid toxicity, which can interfere with the function of some lifespan/healthspan-related genes, can be controlled via supplementation of the extract. The goal of the research team was to confirm if nutraceutical supplementation could reduce beta-amyloid toxicity and if this would depend more on the preventive (before beta-amyloid toxicity expression) or therapeutic (after AB expression) efficacies.
The North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and products derived from the fruit are often used as nutraceuticals because it has antiangiogenic, anti-microbial, anti-mutagenic, and anti-oxidant properties.
The research team previously reported that ingesting cranberry extract can make improve the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworms) and Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruit fly). For this study, the researchers analyzed if CBE supplementation can help reduce beta-amyloid toxicity in CL4176, a C. elegans model of Alzheimer’s.
Data from the study showed that preventive treatment of CBE significantly delayed the body paralysis in the roundworms. Since body paralysis is triggered by beta-amyloid toxicity, the expression level of the beta-amyloid polypeptide in the roundworms was measured via treatment with preventive and therapeutic protocols, respectively.
The study findings revealed that preventive treatment resulted in a more significant reduction of beta-amyloid expression in the worms compared to the therapeutic treatment. This implies that CBE can indeed help prevent Alzheimer’s in CL4176. Further testing showed that using different CBE treatment protocols (preventive and therapeutic) can improve the memory of the roundworms. Results showed that CBE preventive treatment was more effective than therapeutic treatment when used to boost memory in the subjects.
These results cement the fact that preventive treatment with CBE was more effective when addressing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in roundworms. The study is the first of its kind to use roundworms to determine the effectiveness of CBE when used to treat Alzheimer’s.
The researchers are hopeful that these findings can be used in future studies on mammals to develop a cure for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
The benefits of cranberry juice
Studies have shown that cranberry juice can prevent infections and age-related oxidative damage. Below are some of the benefits of drinking cranberry juice:
- It can help treat or prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) – The antibacterial properties of cranberry juice can help prevent infections and the growth of bacterial pathogens.
- It can improve heart health – Cranberries are full of polyphenols, or chemicals that can support heart health.
- It can support digestive health – The phytochemicals in cranberries may be crucial for digestive health.
Do take note that cranberry juice can interact with some drugs. Consult a healthcare professional before consuming cranberry juice.
You can read more articles about research findings on natural cures for Alzheimer’s disease at Alzheimers.news.