Grape Antioxidants Could Prevent Alzheimer's

Alzheimers disease reduced with red wine and grape antioxidants

(RxWiki News) For all wine lovers, add to the list one more benefit to drinking red wine in moderation: its ability to fight Alzheimer's Disease. The natural antioxidant found in grape seeds, and highly present in red wine, may protect against dementia such as Alzheimer's.

A moderate intake of red wine has long been associated with many health boosts, primarily heart benefits such as reducing bad cholesterol, blood clotting, and the overall risk of coronary heart disease. Now, it seems that a little imbibing can also help prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's.

"Red wine or grape seed supplements could prevent or delay Alzheimer's."

Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti of Mount Sinai School of Medicine led the first study to evaluate these grape-derived polyphenols, and their ability to prevent the specific neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease. Previous research had suggested that increased consumption of things high in these polyphenols, such as red wine and grape seed supplements, might protect against cognitive decline.

But Pasinetti's team solidified the theory, and showed that the brain content of the neurotoxin associated with Alzheimer's was substantially reduced after administering the grape seed polyphenols to mice.

"Since naturally occurring polyphenols are also generally commercially available as nutritional supplements and have negligible adverse events even after prolonged periods of treatment, this new finding holds significant promise as a preventive method or treatment, and is being tested in translational studies in Alzheimer’s disease patients," said Dr. Pasinetti.

He went on to say that the grape-derived polyphenols might be beneficial for patients who have already progressed into the early stages of Alzheimer's.

The study emphasizes that scientists need to identify a biomarker of disease, to pinpoint those at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s, in order for grape-derived polyphenols to be effective. Research findings were published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Review Date: 
July 27, 2011