Close to 50 million adults in the world currently suffer from Alzheimer’s. In the U.S., five million people suffer from Alzheimer’s currently, a number that is expected to increase to 16 million by 2020. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one person is diagnosed with the condition every sixty seconds in the United States. The condition is responsible for more deaths than the combined figures of breast and prostate cancer.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative condition that leads to impairment in many of the functions. The condition develops and progresses gradually and initial signs and symptoms may be confused with the usual aging consequences. The symptoms initially include memory loss particularly related to recent events and information. Difficulty in concentration and multitasking are other noticeable symptoms. As the condition progresses, there could be increased difficulty in performing simple day to day tasks including dressing and eating and confusion with date, time or place. Mood changes, getting lost in familiar places and forgetting loved ones are some of the severe symptoms.
Changes in the brain structure begin at least a decade before the symptoms first appear. The basic change is to do with neurons that help brain cells communicate with the rest of the body. With slow death of neurons, there is loss of communication which triggers many of the symptoms.
Studies have also shown that clumps or blocks develop in the brain which is due to a type of protein called beta-amyloid. The abnormal proteins also cause inflammation and toxin build up in the brain cells. Other proteins called “tau” also function abnormally and begin to tangle the neurons.
How does resveratrol benefit people with Alzheimer’s?
Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in foods such as red wine, grapes, berries including cranberries and blueberries and cocoa. Whole, fresh red grapes contain more resveratrol than processed wines as the compound is mostly found in the skin of the fruits.
Studies show that resveratrol has a protective effect on Alzheimer’s. Resveratrol helps prevent the clumping caused by the beta-amyloid protein which leads to blocking of neurons. A recent randomized clinical trial conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center tested a purified form of resveratrol on 119 patients with Alzheimer’s. The abnormal proteins called Abeta40 and Abeta42 cause inflammation and clumping that lead to damage of neurons. Resveratrol is believed to prevent this damage and protect brain cells from such toxins entering into them.
Disclaimer: The vitamin health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.
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