There is already strong evidence that consuming berries such as strawberries and blueberries can help against cognitive decline such as dementia. This has been attributed to flavonoids present in the fruit.
So researchers from New Zealand wanted to see if consuming blackcurrants, a fruit rich in flavonoids would also have a beneficial effect. Published in the upcoming August edition of Journal of Functional Foods, the researchers recruited 36 people for their test and gave them either an anthocyanin enriched blackcurrant juice, normal blackcurrant juice or a control and subjected them to a number of tests.
They found that consuming the blackcurrant juices had a number of potential health benefits, including an inhibition of MAO-B activity, an enzyme produced by the body which is expressed at elevated levels in people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Its normal activity generates reactive oxygen species that could potential cause damage (a reason why foods rich in antioxidants are meant to be good for us). The researchers say further research should be carried out in this area.
It would also be nice to see if this effect is found in blackcurrant jam. If not, I might have to start saving some of mine for juice instead.