FRIDAY, March 3, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidant-rich concord grape juice may help keep aging brains limber, a study with rats suggests.
The study -- partly funded by grape juice maker Welch Foods Inc. -- included mature rats nearing the end of their expected life spans. Researchers put the rodents through a series of tests designed to measure their short-term memory and neuro-motor skills.
"Concord grape juice appeared to enhance the cognitive and some motor skills in the test animals. In many of the tests we saw significant improvements or trends toward improvement," lead researcher James Joseph, chief of the neurosciences laboratory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, said in a prepared statement.
"As our population ages, we are continually looking for ways to maintain our mental and physical skills," Joseph noted.
"While these laboratory animal studies are certainly preliminary and much more work needs to be done, we know that consuming high levels of natural dietary antioxidants is a good thing from a number of perspectives. And it appears that drinking Concord grape juice has the potential to help retard the mental and physical declines of aging."
The findings appear in the March issue of the journal Nutrition.
The American Heart Association has more about antioxidants.