The Detroit Free Press reports on a major potential benefit of one of Traverse City’s biggest crops, tart cherries!
Michigan’s tart cherries could unlock a key to improving brain function and reducing symptoms of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, according to studies by a neuroscientist at Central Michigan University.
Earlier studies have suggested antioxidants found in tart cherries can be useful in treating inflammation-related ailments such as arthritis, and new studies of their effects on degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s are breaking new ground.
Michigan is a world leader in the production of tart cherries, producing up to 75% of the U.S. crop, with orchards concentrated in the Traverse City area.
Gary Dunbar, director of CMU’s neuroscience program, said the compound built around extracts from tart cherries improved brain function in mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms and reduced symptoms of Huntington’s disease in other lab animals. He published the results of some of his research in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2012.
You can read on for more of this story and watch a video featuring Ray Pleva & Cindy Pleva-Weber of Pleva Products International whose Cerise cherry extract was used. The story also made it to USA Today.