good news! i have a plan for my senior years – red wine. and lots of it. thank you science.

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Red wine compound improves memory

The antioxidant resveratrol, most often associated with red wine, improves memory and brain function in elderly people, though it is also found in peanuts, chocolate, and other fruits in addition to grapes. It has been linked to better heart health, anti-aging effects and even (in limited laboratory studies) cancer-fighting properties. A study published this month in the Journal of Neuroscience has released the first evidence that resveratrol improves memory and brain function in elderly people.

The improvement in memory occurred in parallel with an improvement in glucose metabolism—the way the body breaks down sugar. Researchers compared 46 people between 50 and 75 years old, who were given either a resveratrol supplement or a placebo pill for 26 weeks. Before and after the 26-week intervention, they tested the participants’ memory (by measuring their recollection of words they had been told 30 minutes earlier) and used brain imaging to measure the size and connectivity of a brain area called the hippocampus, which is critical for our ability to form memories. They also did blood tests to measure participants’ metabolism and markers of inflammation. The participants who took resveratrol lost body fat, showed an improvement in glucose control (poor glucose control is linked to type 2 diabetes), and scored better on the memory test compared to participants who were given a placebo.

Brain imaging also revealed that the connectivity between memory centers in their brains (hippocampus and frontal cortex) had increased. This trial is small and preliminary, but its results are promising—resveratrol might represent a new strategy to prevent brain aging.

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.

~Doug Larson

credits:  emilie croisier, intelligent optimist magazine

(Source: Journal of Neuroscience June 2014, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0385-14.2014, Pubmed)

 http://theoptimist.com/red-wine-compound-improves-memory/#!30z39

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88 responses »

  1. California Cabernet Sauvignon, discovered by Karen and I at the Cape this vacation and prompted by our wine country bus trip this spring, will keep our brains young and my sugar down. Yay. This study is great news. Thanks, Beth!

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  2. I wondered why I was feeling so healthy this morning. I got talking about some nonsense yesterday evening and, as often happens, got a bit animated ( in a good humoured way) and suddenly realised I’d drunk a whole bottle of red. I tend to drink quickly if I’m not paying attention, regardless of the liquid before me, and the results can be unfortunate !

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  3. problem is, i’ve reached that ugly point at which i know red wine has such benefits … but i have trouble remembering to drink it. sad, really. maybe someone could send me a reminder.

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  4. I’ll drink to that. Great news, Beth. I also love Doug Larson’s quote that you had:” The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.” If that’s true, I’ll never grow old. 😉

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  5. as a teetotaler, I am pleased that grape juice provides this, too–concord grape, plus those phena…those phene–trolls? phenetols? (eff it all…hehehe) also: I heard resveratrol is good for the skin–I have seen it as an additive to lotions & potions, an’ stuff…didja ever hear that?

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