Adding resveratrol in the diet of lab mice showed to have a protective effect against cellular alterations of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Biomedical Research.
The health benefits of resveratrol, a compound naturally found in grapes, are frequently under the focus. Previous studies have observed that it can reduce Alzheimer’s type pathology in cell cultures and lab mice, but no molecular mechanisms were found to prove it. The new research, however, published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology, has seen these mechanisms.
The resveratrol activates the protective mechanisms
According to the leader of the study, “the study shows that resveratrol enhances the protective mechanisms that degrade abnormal proteins.” In the experiment, conducted on mice suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, scientists added resveratrol to the diet of two groups of these rodents, one control group and the other with Alzheimer’s disease.
In both cases, an improved learning response was observed. In the case of those affected by the disease, a protective effect against memory loss and pathology was seen.
Even more, the team of researchers found that those lab mice which had taken resveratrol in the diet presented, at the cellular level, an increase in the enzyme called neprilysin, which degrades the beta-amyloid protein, and an increase in the proteasome, a protein complex that breaks down abnormal proteins.
Resveratrol might fight against Alzheimer’s disease development
“Also, we have found that resveratrol activates the molecular pathway of sirtuin-1 neuroprotection,” explains Ruben Corpas, the first signatory to the study.
The study’s authors stress that resveratrol has reversed Alzheimer’s disease in lab mice, but the disease in humans is much more complicated and severe and could hardly be cured. Thus, there is a long way to go on to find out if the resveratrol works against Alzheimer’s disease.
On the other hand, in their opinion, “the activation of the proteolysis and sirtuin-1 mechanisms in healthy mice is a very significant fact, as it demonstrates that it is possible to acquire some brain resilience against future neurodegenerative pathologies.”