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Blackcurrant compounds to be used in Alzheimer research

26th January 2006

Compounds contained in blackcurrants could help cells to fight the effects of Alzheimer's.

Following the recent news that apples can be beneficial in preventing the onset of memory problems, researchers have suggested that blackcurrants also contain useful properties.

Published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the study indicates that certain compounds in the berries have a protective effect against the negative impact of amyloid-b, which is present in those with Alzheimer's.

British blackcurrants were found to be the most potent and to contain higher levels of anthocyanins, adding to the already established antioxidant powers of the berries.

"We have evidence that the compounds protect against Alzheimer's by influencing the early gene expression in learning and memory, which influences cell signalling pathways that help neuronal cells communicate with each other," explained James Joseph, one of the researchers.

Mr Joseph is confident that the compound would be effective within the human body and that the results could lead to new treatments for the disease.