Red Wine Compound Could Slow Down Brain Aging, New Study Reveals

First Posted: Mar 08, 2017 03:20 AM EST

Scientists discovered that a compound in red wine known as resveratrol could slow down brain aging. This is likened to dieting that includes low-calorie diet and exercising.

The study was printed in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. It was led by Gregorio Valdez, assistant professor at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and other colleagues, according to Medical News Today.

The study involved mice in which the compound preserved the synapses referred to as neuromuscular junctions that relay movement signals from the brain to the muscles. This slowed the brain aging of the mice. The researchers theorized that the compound protects the health of the neurons.

As shown in the mouse study, the resveratrol and metformin, which is a drug used to fight type 2 diabetes, protect the neural connections from the harmful effects of aging. Professor Valdez believes that they are getting closer to tapping into mechanisms to slow age-induced degeneration of neuronal circuits.

Resveratrol can be found naturally in the skin of fruits like blueberries, grapes and mulberries. The red wine has more resveratrol than white wine because it is made of grapes. On the other hand, alcoholic drink such as some wines does not have enough resveratrol to slow aging. Prof. Valdez said that in wine, resveratrol is in such small amounts a person could not drink enough of it in his life to have the benefits they found in mice given resveratrol, as noted by The Independent.

Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound and a type of phytochemical that has antioxidant properties. These can fight the harmful effect of free radicals and protect the "youth" of human cells. In the previous studies, they indicate that resveratrol may help prevent heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative illnesses. The said substance can also be found naturally in peanuts and in some berries. 

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