Orange juice boost for brains of elderly
Drinking orange juice every day could help improve brain function in elderly people, research has suggested.
A small study, which saw 37 adults with an average age of 67 consume 500ml of orange juice daily for eight weeks, found they had an 8pc overall improvement in cognitive function compared with a group who consumed a control drink.
At the beginning and end of the eight weeks their memory, reaction time and verbal fluency was measured by carrying out eight tests.
One of the tests required learning a list of words to be recalled immediately, and again after a 30-minute delay.
Researchers said an 8pc improvement equates to remembering one more word from a shopping list of 15 items. Small improvements such as this over an eight-week period could translate into substantial improvements over the lifespan.
The researchers said their findings show that the constituents of the juice could play an important role in providing brain-boosting nutrients as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Co-author Dr Daniel Lamport, of the University of Reading, said orange juice is a major source of a group of naturally occurring plant phytochemicals known as flavonoids, and is particularly rich in a sub-class of flavonoids, known as flavanones.
"Small, easily administered changes to the daily diet, such as eating more flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables, have the potential to substantially benefit brain health," he said.