Fresh, scented and sweet, pomegranate juice is really an amazing drink! And then the pomegranate is also a powerful source of antioxidants, especially ellagic acid and anthocyanins. It is precisely these substances that give pomegranate juice neuroprotective properties, capable of counteracting neuronal damage caused by free radicals and supporting memory. This has been demonstrated by a recent scientific research that appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition thanks to the work of an American team from the University of California (Siddarth et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2020).
Scientists evaluated the long-term effect of pomegranate juice on healthy adults. For this purpose, 260 people between the ages of 50 and 75 were recruited. Research participants were divided into two groups. The first was asked to take 230 ml per day of pomegranate juice for 12 months. To the second group, on the other hand, was given, for the same period of time, a placebo consisting of a juice containing the same substances as pomegranate but without the antioxidants. To evaluate the changes in memory, both groups underwent a test, called Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised, after 6 months of treatment and at the end of the experiment. The Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised consists in showing the person a sheet on which six drawings are represented in a 2X3 matrix. The sheet is shown for 10 seconds, then it is removed from view. At this point the person is asked to represent the same drawings in the same position in which they were arranged and with the same dimensions. What emerged at the end of the study was that the group that had received the placebo presented a trend that denoted cognitive decline, this instead was not observed in those who had taken pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice, therefore, proved to act by stabilizing the capacity to learn and store visual information.