June 11, 2022 — 9:27 AM
The natural tendency to forget things becomes more prevalent as we age. When it comes to healthy aging, proactively nurturing your brain health is important whether you’re 20 or 80–and diet has a huge impact on cognitive outcomes.
While it’s been well known that polyphenol-rich fruits like berries display neuroprotective properties, a new study from Frontiers in Nutritionreveals that polyphenol supplementation is also an effective way to reap these phytonutrients’ brain health benefits.*
The memory study design.
The study’s participants include 60 healthy older men and women between the ages of 50 and 80. Half were given daily freeze-dried cranberry powder equivalent to one small cup of cranberries while the control group was given a placebo.
Participants were assessed at the beginning and end of the 12-week trial to see how cranberry supplementation affected their cognition (i.e., memory, executive function, etc.), brain function, and neuronal signaling biomarkers.
So, do cranberries improve memory?
Participants who received cranberry supplementation demonstrated significant improvements in visual episodic memory–i.e., the ability to remember details of what something looks like–when compared to the control group.
Episodic memory is also associated with remembering the details of an event that happened earlier in one’s life (think a first date, your wedding day, the birth of your child, etc.). This indicates that cranberries (and more specifically, polyphenols) play a large role in enhancing and sustaining memory later in life.
Researchers hypothesize these improvements in memory may be a result of increased blood flow to the entorhinal cortex–the gateway for information to enter and leave the hippocampus, where learning and memory formation occur.
On top of its positive memory effects, cranberry supplementation also significantly decreased LDL cholesterol. A decrease in LDL (often referred to as “bad” cholesterol) demonstrates vascular health support and is thus a potential component of improved blood flow and cognitive performance findings. Cerebral blood flow and vascular health are important (and in our opinion, often overlooked) contributors to optimizing cognitive function and overall brain health.*
This study demonstrates that consuming polyphenols–whether through diet or supplementation–is an effective way to improve your memory and overall cognitive function.*
Brain nutrition for cognitive performance and mental clarity*
These powerful phytonutrients are the reason we decided to include resveratrol–a polyphenol shown to improve verbal memory, cerebral blood flow, and overall cognitive function–in our proactive brain health supplement, brain guard+.*
If you’re interested in learning more about enhancing your memory through supplementation, check out mbg’s top picks for best memory supplements on the market today.*