at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University
have been finding promising results associated with diets high in
antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Preliminary studies suggest
that diets containing fruit and vegetables with high-ORAC^ values
may provide protection against chronic age-related afflictions like
loss of coordination and memory. Cranberries score high on the antioxidant
scale at 1750 ORAC units per 100 g (about 3.5 oz.) of fresh fruit.28
Using an animal
model James Joseph, Ph.D. and Barbara Shukitt-Hale Ph.D. have been
experimenting with cranberries and their ability to protect brain
cells from free radical damage and subsequent motor and cognitive
function losses. Rats fed diets supplemented with cranberries are
put through a series of tests to evaluate their neural function
compared to a control group. Preliminary results indicate that there
will be compelling evidence that cranberry can help protect the
brain from neurological damage (unpublished results).
ORAC, or oxygen radical absorbance capacity, measures the ability
of a substance to subdue oxygen free radicals in vitro.
Joseph, J.A., Nadeau, D.A., and Underwood, A. The Color Code - A
revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health. 1st ed. New York,
NY: Hyperion, 2002.