Brain Health and Gut Health

Clinical Trials with Blackcurrants

Improves Mental Performance 

Research conducted using 36 healthy young adult participants (18-35 years), showed that compounds found in New Zealand blackcurrants increased mental performance indicators, such as accuracy, attention and mood.

The study also showed that juice from a specific New Zealand blackcurrant cultivar, called Blackadder, also reduced the activity of a family of enzymes called monoamine oxidases, which regulate serotonin and dopamine concentrations in the brain. These chemicals are known to affect mood and cognition, and are the focus for treatments of both neurodegenerative symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease* and mood disorders, including stress and anxiety.

*Note: The research described above was conducted on healthy young people and did not include patients with any of the medical coniditions mentioned. Neither the reseracher nor the New Zealand Blackcurrant Co-operative have investiigated the connection between the findings and specific medical conditions and do not wish to make or imply any therapeutic recommendations. The study demonstrated the 'Blackadder' juice is a powerfull momoamine oxidase inhibitor, so is very likely to interact strongly with medications. We are advised that Plant and Food Research strongly recommends that before engaging in any dietary or lifestyle changes that you consult your doctor about whether this is safe and appropriate for you.

Promotes Gut Health and Reduces Marker for Colon Cancer

The composition of the gut microbe population plays an important role in human health and disease. Increasing the population of beneficial gut bacteria through positive dietary changes, can to lead to health benefits.

The results of this human study showed that the consumption of two specific products containing blackcurrant extract positively modified the gut microbial population, by enhancing the growth of the beneficial bacteria and decreasing activity of the toxic bacterial enzymes which are known to be involved in colon cancer. The results also showed significantly decreased fecal pH.  High fecal pH is thought to be a risk for colon cancer.

Scientific Literature

1. Watson, A., Acute supplementation with blackcurrant extracts modulates cognitive functioning and inhibits monoamine oxidase-B in healthy young adults. Journal of Functional Foods, 2015, Vol. 17 p.524-539.
2.Molan A., Zhuojian L.,Plimmer G. Evaluation of the effects of blackcurrant products on gut microbiota and on markers of risk for colon cancer in humans. PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, 28,416-422, 2014