A recent series of studies have shown that drinking grape juice significantly improves short-term memory, coordination and balance in older animals. Based on these results, some scientists suggest that drinking grape juice on a regular basis may restore or help preserve valuable motor-neural co-ordination so that people can enjoy their favorite activities for a longer life.
The researchers subjected 45 day old rats to a range of tests and challenges commonly accepted as methods of measuring changes in short-term memory and neuro-motor skills. The rats given grape juice showed a reduction or complete reversal of the loss of sensitivity of muscarinic (brain) receptors, and enhanced cognitive and motor skills in these animals.
The findings suggest that grapes could join blueberries and other polyphenol-rich fruits as a health preserving, anti-ageing food. The findings were presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at the International Conference on Polyphenols and Health held in France late last year.
The type of grapes used to make the juice were Concord grapes, this grape is a dark-blue variety, native to North America. It is used widely for juice and wine production. Like cranberries, the grape has been studied closely for its high antioxidant content. Other findings at this conference showed that grape juice lowered high blood pressure. Also, daily consumption of grape juice for just eight weeks significantly improved arterial function, and this may help reduce heart disease.