Raisin polyphenols improve cognitive scores in elderly

Specifically, scores for tests assessing orientation, visuospatial/executive and language, and recall were all improved when compared to the placebo. In addition, scores for quality of life and functional capacity also saw increases following supplementation.

“Therefore, the consumption of 50g of raisins produces a slight improvement in cognitive performance, quality of life, and functional activities in the elderly,” the ‘Nutrients’ published report concludes.

The researchers add: “This study can also affirm that flavonoids, present in raisins, may be related to better cognitive performance.”

Polyphenol power

It has been observed​ that diets rich in fruit and vegetables can result in a reduced prevalence of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, due to their high phenolic contents. Such compounds, including polyphenols, are known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

Following this, studies​ have suggested that nutritional interventions with phenolic compounds may prevent cognitive decline associated with age, due to their influence on the pathological mechanisms underlying cognitive degeneration.

Grapes are noted to be particularly rich in such polyphenols, containing a diverse array of anthocyanins, flavanols, hydroxycinnamic acid, and flavonols, with previous studies​ noting the neuroprotective properties associated with their consumption.

Raisins offer a low glycaemic index alternative whilst providing satiety, yet little research has been conducted into their supplementation with regards to the effects on cognitive health. Thus, the researchers sought to investigate this potential relationship.

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