Perhaps it’s a good news for boozers. A week back, a study discovered that a component in beer could help protect brain cells from a certain kind of damage that has been connected to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Currently, new research shows that a compound contained in red wine could help prevent age linked memory loss.

Middle-aged rats treated with the compound, resveratrol, showed a boost in learning, memory and mood compared with animals given a dummy drug. Notwithstanding that the researchers have yet to test this out on humans, the inspiring results open up the possibility that treating middle-aged people with this compound could help boost memory and mood in old age.

You perhaps are aware of the various health benefits that red wine supposedly bestows. That’s because red grapes carry a range of active substances called polyphenols, which are known for their potent antioxidant properties and ability to scavenge reactive molecules called free radicals that can cause tissue damage and help age linked memory loss..
age linked memory loss
One key polyphenol that appears to have hogged the limelight is resveratrol. It’s present in a range of foods like skin of red grapes, blueberries, peanuts and cocoa. Regardless of that not many studies have examined the health benefits of resveratrol on humans, lab and animal studies have shown that in high enough quantities, it can have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it probably can bestow cardiovascular benefits as it has been shown to help prevent damage to blood vessels, lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in the body and impede blood clots.

As resveratrol has demonstrated in lab studies that it can reduce inflammation and also trigger the growth of new blood vessels, scientists are exploring the possibility that it perhaps can counteract age linked memory loss and mood impairments. The reason for that is that a region of the brain known to be vital for learning and memory, the hippocampus, experiences inflammation, cell death and diminished vasculature as we age, which is believed to contribute to decreased memory and mood function in the elderly.

This hypothesis was put to test by scientists from Texas A&M University. They took two groups of late-middle-aged (21 month-old) rats and conducted a string of behavioral tests on them which revealed that both groups showed identical learning and memory abilities. After 2 months, in the course of 25th month of life, they administered either resveratrol or a placebo for four weeks, and then re-assessed learning and memory abilities.

As explained by ‘Nature Scientific Reports’ researchers discovered that learning ability was maintained in the control mice, but their capacity to form new memories declined between the ages of 22 and 25 months. Contrarily, those given resveratrol showed better learning, memory and mood function. Also, these mice experienced double the rate of cell growth and development in the hippocampus in contrast to controls. Moreover, the blood vessel formation in this region also increased, and cell death and inflammation diminished.

“The study provides novel evidence that resveratrol treatment in late middle age can help improve memory and mood function in old age,” lead researcher Ashok Shetty said in a news release. Needless to say, the researchers were utilizing amounts considerably higher than what you would find in a glass of wine or a bar of chocolate; but, the likely beneficial effects of high-dose resveratrol supplements on human subjects perhaps are worth investigating.

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