We already know about the fantastic effects that red wine can have on your heart, but scientists are just beginning to understand what this popular drink can do for your mind.
Most people associate alcohol with a lack of memory — not the other way around. However, when consumed in moderation, wine may help prevent the onset of a disease that is notorious for causing memory impairment. Alzheimer’s is scary, not only because it signals the slow decline of the mind, but also because it slowly progresses and worsens over time.
Eventually, the damage will be so severe that the sufferer will pass away from the illness. Because of this, researchers are always seeking new ways to prevent and treat this terrible disease.
Now, red wine has entered the list as a possible method of prevention. As you may already know, red wine is an excellent source of polyphenols. These are potent antioxidants that help prevent the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Peanuts, grapes, and berries are also great sources of these disease fighters, but red wine is by far the best source.
A particular polyphenol, known as resveratrol, was found to help prevent the growth of plaque in human brain cells. The test-tube study used cells that normally produce amyloid beta (the stuff plaque is made of). It’s not entirely sure how resveratrol works, but it seems to break down the plaques — not just prevent their production.
What researchers now need to find out is whether or not this action actually works inside active human brain cells. Since concentrated resveratrol is being applied directly to the cells, its action may be more potent than the slower actions of wine passing through the digestive system.
Still, this study provides hope that a new, polyphenol-based drug may be created that could stop Alzheimer’s at its source. This would be a natural and healthy way to stop the spread of the disease. In the meantime, this study gives people yet another excuse to indulge in a glass of their favorite red wine at dinnertime.