Tara Louise Walker, Gerd Kempermann, and their team found that high concentrations of phytonutrients from apples stimulate neurogenesis (the generation of new neurons).
Findings also showed that laboratory-grown stem cells from adult mouse brains generated more neurons and were protected from cell death when phytonutrients of apples (quercetin or dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA)) were added to the cultures.
Additional tests in mice showed that stem cells multiplied and generated more neurons in adult brain structures associated with learning and memory when the mice were given high doses of quercetin or DHBA.
Physical exercise is a known stimulus for neurogenesis, and the effects of quercetin or DHBA were comparable to the effects of PE.
To determine if phytonutrients can enhance cognitive functions in humans, future studies are required.