There is more to the saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ for a study has revealed that apple products can help boost brain function and may help patients with Alzheimer’s disease too.
Animal research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) indicates that apple juice consumption may actually increase the production in the brain of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, resulting in improved memory.
Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine are chemicals released from nerve cells that transmit messages to other nerve cells. Such communication between nerve cells is vital for good health, not just in the brain, but also throughout the body.
"We anticipate that the day may come when foods like apples, apple juice and other apple products are recommended along with the most popular Alzheimer's medications," says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., director of the UML Center for Cellular Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration Research.
The role of acetylcholine in the brain is not a new area of research. Alzheimer's medication studies start with the premise that increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain can help to slow mental decline in people with Alzheimer's disease. Testing a similar hypothesis, the UML research team found that having animals consume antioxidant-rich apple juice had a comparable and beneficial effect.