Aim: To study the effect of Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice on memory in male Wistar rats.
Materials and methods: The juice was administered orally for 7, 14, 21 and 30 days at doses of 2.5 ml/kg, 5 ml/kg and 10 ml/kg. Memory was assessed in the one-way passive avoidance task (step through) which consisted of one training session and two retention tests (3 hours and 24 hours after training). The variables measured were the latency time to step into the dark compartment of the apparatus and the learning criterion (remaining in the illuminated compartment for at least 180 sec).
Results: Oral administration of Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice for 7 and 14 days resulted in a dose-dependent tendency to increase the latency time and the learning criterion compared to saline-treated controls but the effect failed to reach statistical significance. After 21 days of treatment, the juice dose-dependently prolonged the latency time at the retention tests, the effect being significant at doses of 5 ml/kg and 10 ml/kg. Applied for 30 days, the juice in all the tested doses increased significantly the latency time at the retention tests and the dose of 10 ml/kg significantly increased the percentage of rats reaching the learning criterion.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice could improve memory in rats. The effect is probably due to the polyphenolic ingredients of the juice which have been shown to be involved in learning and memory processes.