Resveratrol may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. In a study of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, a biomarker that drops as the disease progresses was stabilized in people who took a purified form of the compound.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 study included 119 people with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Patients who received resveratrol were treated with increasing doses over 12 months. The highest dose of resveratrol tested was 1 g. by mouth twice daily—equivalent to the amount found in about 1,000 bottles of red wine. Those patients showed little or no change in amyloid-beta40 levels in blood and cerebrospinal fluid, the biomarker. Levels of amyloid-beta40 decreased among patients who received the placebo.
The study's principal investigator, R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD, director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center, called the results “very interesting” in a release about the research.
"A decrease in Abeta40 is seen as dementia worsens and Alzheimer's disease progresses; still, we can't conclude from this study that the effects of resveratrol treatment are beneficial," Turner explained. "It does appear that resveratrol was able to penetrate the blood brain barrier, which is an important observation.
The study, funded by the National Institute on Aging and conducted with the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, began in 2012 and ended in 2014. The results were published online in the journal Neurology.
Research released last year suggested resveratrol may block inflammation in the brain linked to depression, at least among rodents.