Resveratrol, a phenolic compound in red wine and berries, might lower Alzheimer’s risk, according to a study from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. A pharmaceutical-grade supplement of resveratrol (500 milligrams – the amount of resveratrol obtained from approximately 1,000 bottles of red wine) was given daily to a group of seniors with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. A second matched group served as controls. During the year, the resveratrol group showed a stabilization in the level of a protein, called amyloid-beta 40, in their spinal fluid. This protein typically decreases in spinal fluid as Alzheimer’s worsens, possibly because more is being deposited in the brain contributing to the plaques that mark Alzheimer’s. By stabilizing this protein, the researchers suspect, “…this may be an indicator that resveratrol slows disease progression.”
In Perspective: Previous research shows that resveratrol activates a gene called SIRT1, which is linked to longevity, much in the same way that calorie restriction appears to stall the effects of aging.
Turner R, Thomas R, Craft S, et al: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of resveratrol for Alzheimer disease. Neurology 2015;September 11th.