Don’t let the name fool you!


This week’s hero starring in Science Bites is Aronia Melanocarpa.

Most commonly known as black chokeberry, Arona berries are small, dark fruits that grow on shrubs of Rosaceae family. We all know that “Choke” berry might not sound too friendly, but don’t let this name fool you. The name” chokeberry” comes from the berry’s tart quality and the fact that often makes your mouth crinkle when you eat it. However, the flavour becomes more palatable when used in various dishes or used to make juices, purées, jams, teas and wine. As an alternative, they can be consumed as a supplement.

Nowadays, Aronia berries have become popular among health-conscious consumers, because of their many health benefits. In fact, they are increasingly recognised because of their excellent antioxidant power and because they are among the richest sources of anthocyanins, particularly cyanidin 3-glycosides. Multiple studies have shown anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic effects of Aronia. And the list goes on to their potential effect as a cognitive enhancer.

Bright lights and bright minds.

Researchers of the Medical University Plovdiv demonstrated that Aronia Melanocarpa can improve cognition in rats. During the test, rats were placed in boxes where an unpleasant stimulus was administered (e.g. bright lights, loud noises). If rates succeeded to avoid the same stimulus the next time that they were placed in the box, they would have successfully remembered their previous experience. Interestingly, rats that drank Aronia juice were more successful in avoiding unpleasant stimuli compared to rats that drunk just water. This gave an indication that Aronia improves short term memory.

In a second experiment, scientists not only proved again how Aronia improves cognition, but they also demonstrated a neuroprotective effect. This study was the first to demonstrate the effect of Aronia on neuronal density. It was indeed observed that the rats that had been drinking Aronia juice had significantly more nerve fibres compared to those who drank only water. Moreover, they had higher acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. The function of AChE in the brain is crucial as it triggers circuits of neurons to function properly and transmit signals. Additionally, the increase in AChE was in line with the improvement in psychomotor speed which was also observed. In other words, the consumption of Aronia resulted in brain signals that were processed more efficiently. Researchers of the Medical University Plovdiv demonstrated that Aronia Melanocarpa can improve cognition in rats. During the test, rats were placed in boxes where an unpleasant stimulus was administered (e.g. bright lights, loud noises). If rates succeeded to avoid the same stimulus the next time that they were placed in the box, they would have successfully remembered their previous experience. Interestingly, rats that drank Aronia juice were more successful in avoiding unpleasant stimuli compared to rats tat drunk just water. This gave an indication that Aronia improves short term memory.

About Brainberry®

At BioActor we have long been on a mission: help consumers to improve brain fitness. This is why we developed BrainBerry®, an Aronia berry extract standardized for cyanidin-3-glycosides and cyanidin-3-O-galactoside. Our research partners at the Metabolic Research Unit Maastricht (MRUM) have conducted the first randomized clinical trial with Aronia berry extract demonstrating that this super-berry can be safely used in form of supplement to enhance cognition and psychomotor speed in humans. An additional clinical trial is ongoing… Therefore, stay tuned for new exciting results!