Orchard fruit may ward off Alzheimer’s

08/03/2006
By From the Boston Herald

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but it appears to help keep the brain sparking on all cylinders, a study suggests.

    A daily glass of apple juice may actually increase the production of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for jogging memory, according to research conducted on mice at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Neurotransmitters are chemicals released from nerve cells that transmit messages to other nerve cells.
    The results could be welcome news to those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, which causes serious memory lapses, confusion and disorientation. The mice were given moderate amounts of apple products, comparable to about two 8-ounce glasses of apple juice or three apples a day.
    “It was astonishing how the animals on the apple-enhanced diets did a superior job on the maze tests than those not on the supplemented diet,” said Dr. Thomas Shea, director of the UML Center for Cellular Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration Research.
     “We anticipate that the day may come when foods like apples, apple juice and other apple products are recommended along with the most popular Alzheimer’s medications,” Shea added.