Researchers are constantly working to unravel the mysteries of the human brain. One of the biggest mysteries is the proliferation of diagnosed degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Researchers have found that numerous substances can be linked with a decrease in symptoms of these diseases. For instance, chocolate has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, new studies reveal that tart cherries grown in Michigan can improve brain function as well as reduce the symptoms of degenerative brain diseases.
A neuroscientist from Central Michigan University found that “the compound built around extracts from tart cherries improved brain function in mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms and reduced symptoms of Huntington’s disease in other lab animals,” according to an article by the Detroit Free Press. The supplement is marketed under the name Cerise.
Despite the risks involved with natural supplements and tests that reveal that these supplements may be ineffective, the cherry supplement slowed down the growth of neurodegenerative diseases. The supplements did not lead to other, harmful side effects either. The supplements have also helped with arthritis, high cholesterol, Crohn’s disease and other conditions.
Skeptics caution the public from becoming too hopeful about the mental benefits of Cerise supplements due to the results. First of all, skeptics refer to the fact that the researcher used animal models instead of human models in his tests. Other researchers say the way diseases form in animals is much different than in humans, according to USA Today. Still, the author of the study maintains that antioxidants found in the cherries can aid in mitochondrial function, an area of the brain that has been linked with the development of degenerative brain diseases. Some of the research can be found in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2012.