Friday, November 09, 2007

NZ researchers claim brain-boosting drink

New Zealand scientists are claiming they have developed a fruit juice cocktail that appears to improve memory and reduce stress.

After two years in development, reports the New Zealand Herald,"the drink, derived from a secret blend of fruits, has shown promising results in reducing stress and enhancing memory. It will go to a larger human trial within weeks. It also seems to have the opposite effects on the human body to caffeine, which can make drinkers jittery, and relaxes the body."

Dr. Arjan Scheepens, a neuroscientist with HortResearch -- the country's largest horticulture and food research organization -- called the drink a "mood food" aimed especially at tired mothers. The study says mothers aged 40 to 60 were the group who most wanted such a product.

"Whereas now they might reach for a cigarette or an alcoholic drink or might shout at somebody, they will go for this type of drink," Scheepens told the Herald.

The juice will be tested by 72 people in a randomised, placebo-controlled trial funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. If it proves successful, HortResearch hopes to license the idea to a manufacturer and that the drink will go on retail sale within two years for about $4 a can.

Scheepens said the fruits in the drink were all currently available, unlike some others in the institute's research program that were specially bred.

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