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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dementia And Pomegranate Juice

This article is copied directly from the Dementia Weekly Web Site. And, the amount the mice drank translated to human proportions is about 2 cups a day. All I have to figure out now is where to find a big tank like that to fill with milk and swim around in... check out the video. They are SO cute!

(hmmmm ...how much milk would it take to fill a swimming pool. I'm just askin'...)

From what I have seen so far in reviewing the research almost any good strong antioxidant is beneficial in treating dementia. This includes almost all berries, some fruits, and many vegetables. So, I decided to make some Pomegranate-Gogi Berry Wine, but more on that later. Yum! 

Dr. Richard Hartman, Phd, is an assistant professor of psychology at Loma Linda University's School of Science and Technology,

When his grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Hartman wanted to make a difference. “It was devastating to see the effects,” he recalls.

Dr. Hartman’s crushing experience with Alzheimer’s may help others fight off the disease. He found that a daily glass of pomegranate juice could halve the build-up of harmful proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, his study has shown that pomegranates work just as well as pharmaceutical medicines.

“This study is the first to show beneficial effects (both behavioral and neuropathological) of pomegranate juice in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Hartman, researcher and lead author of the study. He also collaborated with Washington University researchers on this project.

The study began with transgenic mice predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s-like pathology and symptoms. At a young age, the mice were split into two groups—half received water with added pomegranate-juice concentrate, and the control group received drinking water with the same amount of sugar as the juice. Dr. Hartman’s research found that the mice who drank the pomegranate juice had 50 percent less beta-amyloid plaques in the hippocampus of their brains. The mice drank an average of 5 milliliters of fluid a day, which is roughly equivalent to a human drinking one to two glasses of pomegranate juice a day. The learning and memory abilities of the mice were tested in the Morris water maze, which required the animals to swim and find a submerged platform in a pool of water.

The results are significant. After six months, the pomegranate juice-treated mice learned water maze tasks more quickly and swam faster; and the mice that drank the pomegranate juice had 50 percent less beta-amyloid plaques in the hippocampus of their brains.

Pomegranates contain very high levels of polyphenols (an antioxidant phytochemical that tends to prevent or neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals) as compared to other fruits and vegetables.

This somewhat uncommon fruit is one of the first cultivated crops (with olives, grapes, figs, and dates), developed around 4000 to 3000 BC in the Middle East. It was also used as a folk medicine throughout the ages for a variety of ailments, and it is mentioned in many of the world’s major religions.


  1. You're going to have to up your fruit intake Lee! Hmm... oranges in salads perhaps? Pomegranite salad dressing? Could be good!

  2. I didnt' hear anything about FTD in this man's research. Is plaque an issue for FTD? I thought not from my readings, but you have shown several times that what works for Alzheimer's may also work for Pick's, even tho not recommended, ex. Aricept. Continue the research. And get a juicer or a sledge hammer.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Matilda. Protein plaques are a major concern in FTD, though not the same as the "tangles" of protein associated with Alzheimer's. Hyper-Phosphorilyzation of Tau Protein in FTD is thought to cause accumulations inside the cells interfering with their function, and causing cell death. It is a very complex chemical process, and will be the subject of a future post.

    Interesting that eating a pomegranate doesn't work cuz the beneficial chemicals are in the rind. It also explains why pomegranates are delicious, and pomegranate juice tastes like crap!


  4. Thanks for the comment, Eileen.

    Fruit is good, but the anti-oxident nuts & berries are better than oranges I think. You make great salads!