You Remember Your Last Apple?
and his colleagues assessed whether consuming apple juice was protective
against oxidative brain damage that results from normal metabolism,
dietary insufficiencies or genetic deficiencies.
They exposed two groups of mice normal adult mice, as well
as mice that carry a gene associated with diseases like Alzheimers
to either a complete diet including known antioxidants,
or a deficient diet that is thought to increase oxidative
damage in the body. Some mice in each group also received apple
juice concentrate in concentrations of 0.1, 0.5 or 1.0 percent in
their drinking water.
After one month on the test diets, the animals were put through
two different well-established maze tests to determine their memory
and learning capabilities. Mice who consumed the diets augmented
with apple juice tended to perform better on the maze tests, and
all had less oxidative brain damage than the controls. In fact,
the dietary addition of juice completely protected the normal mice
from the oxidative stress caused by the deficient diet and
protected the genetically-deficient mice from both their genetic
predisposition and the deficient diet, allowing them to perform
at the same level as normal mice being fed the complete diet.
Although the UMass Lowell researchers did not study what components
in apples were responsible for the neuroprotective effects demonstrated,
they ruled out sugar and energy content, and suggested that the
antioxidant potential of apple cider and apple juice was responsible.
Our results suggest that something in apple cider and juice
appears to protect the brain against oxidative damage, and improves
cognitive performance in these animals, even when we impose dietary
or genetic challenges, said Dr. Shea. We think that
this something is the apples naturally high level
The results obtained were from moderate amounts of apple cider and
juice comparable to drinking approximately a couple good-sized
glasses of them or eating a couple of apples a day. The findings
also suggest that apple juice was most helpful in the framework
of an overall healthy diet.