Resveratrol is highly known for its cardiovascular health benefits. Small quantities can be found in red wine, dark chocolate, raspberries, tea and even peanut butter. Drinking a small amount of red wine daily can help improve cardiovascular health.
A new study gave 119 people suffering from Alzheimer's disease one gram of concentrated resveratrol twice daily in a span of 12 months. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the increase in a protein called Abeta40. The participants showed no change in Abeta40 levels, which suggests the stabilization of the disease.
Participants who took the placebo showed improvement in their daily habits, such as cooking and dressing themselves. Patients suffering from Alzheimer's also have difficulty in using public transportation. The study's participants, however, showed improvement in this simple task.
The new study proves the effect of resveratrol on brain health, but it is not enough to advise the general public to take high-dose supplements from the pharmacy.
"It looked like [resveratrol] may have had a beneficial effect on biomarkers and disease progression," said Dr. R. Scott Turner from Georgetown University Medical Center. The memory disorders program director explains that the compound is safe to use for older people suffering from the disease.
Resveratrol activates proteins called sirtuins. Animal tests show that sirtuins help slow down age-related mental conditions such as dementia. The same proteins can be triggered by cutting calories. As a result, cutting your calorie intake to about two-thirds can slow down dementia in old age.
Resveratrol continues to be a subject of many animal studies. Tests show its bacteria-fighting characteristics, which makes it a natural antibiotic. The compound also has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits. Its presence in wines such as pinot noir boosts its popularity in the health and beauty department.
Dr. Doug Brown, Alzheimer's Society Director, points out that despite the study's success, it did not show if resveratrol affects memory. The study only showed a halt in the disease progression. Longer trials need to be done before people can be advised to take high-dose supplements of resveratrol to prevent the disease. Brown also stresses that further studies are needed before resveratrol can be proven as a safe and effective treatment for Alzheimer's.