If you want to improve your memory drink apple juice, as a 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 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.
Among those fed the apple juice-supplemented diet, the mice showed an increased production of acetylcholine in their brains. Also, after multiple assessments of memory and learning using traditional Y maze tests, researchers found that the mice who consumed the apple juice-supplemented diets performed significantly better on the maze tests.
"It was surprising how the animals on the apple-enhanced diets actually did a superior job on the maze tests than those not on the supplemented diet," remarks Dr. Shea.