Could Wine Spare Memory Loss?

Hope For Alzheimer’s to be Unveiled at Worldnutra Conference

ST. JOHN’S, CANADA/COLLEGE STATION, TX, October 4, 2004 — The enigma of memory loss may be partially unraveled by the action of an enzyme located in the brain and by its natural inhibitors present in wine. Research conducted by Dr. Michikatsu Sato has uncovered small peptides present in both red and white wines that inhibit an enzyme implicated in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Sato’s research will be presented in detail at the 4th annual Worldnutra conference slated for November 7-10 in San Francisco this year.

The findings of Dr. Sato, affiliated with the Research and Development Center, Alcohol Enterprise Head Office, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization in Japan, were spurred by the observation of large amounts of the amino acid L-proline in wine. This suggested to Dr. Sato and colleagues that an inhibitor of an enzyme called Prolyl EndoPeptidase (PEP; this enzyme selectively chops up specific proline-containing peptides), which is found throughout the human body, could also be present in wine. PEP digests brain hormones that are involved in learning and memory and may also generate amyloid protein, which accumulates in Alzheimer’s patients.

Within several varietal wines Dr. Sato has identified PEP inhibitors that are pentapeptides (composed of 5 amino acids in a chain). The greatest concentrations were found in Merlot (California), Sauvignon Blanc (Bordeaux), and Pinot Noir. The pentapeptide was also detected in table grapes, and was found to be in the juice and pulp parts of grape berries.

“The work by Dr. Michikatsu Sato brings hope to the ever-increasing number of individuals at increased risk for, or afflicted with, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases,” offered however Dr. Sato emphasizes moderation in the intake of red wine” said Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi of Memorial University of Newfoundland Dr. Shahidi and a co-organizer of Worldnutra, along with Dr. Sefa Koseoglu of Filtration and Membrane World. “However, Dr. Sato advocates moderation with red wine.”

Registration information is available at


Fereidoon Shahidi
(709) 737-8552
[email protected]

Sefa Koseoglu
(979) 846-1951
[email protected]

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