A new study has shown that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and dark chocolate, may be effective at preventing the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
A new study suggests that a certain chemical present in dark chocolate and red wine can delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a report from the New Scientist, resveratrol, which is found in grapes, red wine, and dark chocolate, could potentially provide benefits for people battling a long list of age-related disorders, including cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
Much of the research surrounding resveratrol has been conducted in lab studies and on animals, but most of the data so far has been positive. There have been minimal small trials on human subjects at this point.
Studies have shown that tightly restricted diets help reduce the risks of age-related illnesses in lab animals. By activating a group of enzymes called sirtuins, restricted-calorie diets affect the expression of a gene that prevents damage from stress.
Scientists are hoping that resveratrol will help activate sirtuins to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease without restricting calories in a senior’s diet. The latest study from researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center examined the effects of a gram of resveratrol on 119 patients with mild to moderate symptoms twice a day for a year.
They found that while subjects who received a placebo demonstrated the typical signs of progressing Alzheimer’s disease, the ones who took resveratrol showed little to no change in amyloid beta levels in their blood, which typically decreases in Alzheimer’s patients.
It will be a long time before researchers can definitively say that resveratrol can prevent Alzheimer’s disease for sure, but the new study offers a promising lead for researchers seeking to understand the peculiar aging disease.