by Marion Nestle
Aug 26 2019

Industry-funded study of the week: cherries prevent dementia!

Effect of Montmorency tart cherry juice on cognitive performance in older adults: a randomized controlled trial, Sheau C. Chai,, et al. Food Funct., 2019,10, 4423-4431.

Method: In this randomized controlled trial, 37 adults between the ages of 65–80 with normal cognitive function were recruited and randomly assigned to consume two cups of Montmorency tart cherry juice for 12 weeks.

Results: The within-group analysis showed that the visual sustained attention (p < 0.0001) and spatial working memory (p = 0.06) improved after the 12-week consumption of tart cherry juice compared with corresponding baseline values. Daily tart cherry juice consumption may improve cognitive abilities.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that daily intake of Montmorency tart cherry juice may help improve subjective memory and cognitive abilities in older adults as evidenced by increased contentment with memory, improved visual sustained attention and spatial working memory, and reduced movement time and total errors made on new learning tasks in older adults. T

Acknowledgements: The present study was supported by the Cherry Research Committee of the Cherry Marketing Institute, a non-profit organization. Tart cherry concentrates were provided by the Cherry Marketing Institute. Funders had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis or interpretation, or writing of the manuscript.

Comment: I love cherries—a joy of summer—and wouldn’t it be wonderful if eating them was all you had to do to prevent cognitive decline.  Are cherries better than any other fruit or vegetable for this purpose?  This study did not examine that question but eating a healthy diet is always a good idea.  As for funders having no role, they don’t have to.  The mere fact that they funded this study skews the research question, as much evidence demonstrates (I reviewed this evidence in Unsavory Truth).