Calming fruit

Sunday, 01 June, 2008

HortResearch is examining the potential fruit may have on mental performance and hopes that a fruit-based product will be able to offer consumers a calming effect.

Researchers have been looking into the role of fruit in mental state performance for the past three years and are turning their attention to fruit as a natural calmer for people who lead busy lives.

To date, they have been examining the effect of different types of fruit at binding to the gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA receptors are the same sites where tranquillisers such as Valium work.

It is this theory which potentially opens the door to a fruit-based consumer product that could be calming, researchers said.

Although the group cannot say when the research will prove fruitful in producing a mental performance product aimed at calming people, they are confident this will be a big sector over the next few years.

There has been a great deal of global research into the role of fruit and mental performance.

A French study last summer linked a diet rich in flavonoids — compounds found in fruit — to reducing the decline in mental function associated with age.

Flavonoids have been receiving interest with a mounting body of science, including epidemiological and laboratory-based. Evidence of their cancer-fighting potential of a number of different flavonoids, such as isoflavones, anthocyanidins and flavonols, has also been gathering.


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