Thursday, September 24, 2009

Resveratrol may help protect against Alzheimer's

Research indicates that resveratrol may play a future therapeutic or preventive role in several disorders associated with neurological damage in the brain.

A study published in Journal of Biological Chemistry has shown that resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, red wine, peanuts and berries, lowers the levels of the amyloid-beta peptides, which cause much of the neurological damage associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers administered resveratrol to cells which produce human amyloid-beta and tested the compound's effectiveness by analyzing amyloid-beta levels inside and outside the cells. They found that amyloid-beta levels in the treated cells were much lower than those in untreated cells. It is thought that resveratrol acts by stimulating the degradation of these amyloid-beta peptides.

Although more research is needed, early results suggest that this natural compound may have a therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's disease. Resveratrol is currently being researched for a potential role in fighting other human amyloid-related diseases, including Huntington's, Parkinson's and prion diseases.

Source: Resveratrol Promotes Clearance of Alzheimer’s Disease Amyloid Peptides, Marambaud et al, J. Biol. Chem. Vol. 280; Issue 45: 37377-37382, 11-11-05.