Posted on Tue, 29 Sep 15
A clinical study in people with Alzheimer’s disease has suggested resveratrol is safe and can improve disease biomarkers, which should pave the way for more research.
Resveratrol is a phytonutrient found in grapes, wine, cocoa, and some berries, including blueberries and cranberries, and there is some experimental evidence to suggest it may help protect against neurodegenerative disease.
The clinical effects of resveratrol in people with Alzheimer’s disease are uncertain due to lack of research, but a preliminary study has shown some promising effects.
In the study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given resveratrol (starting at 500 mg daily and gradually building up to 1000 mg twice daily) or placebo for 1-year (1). Resveratrol was found to significantly stabilize amyloid proteins in blood and cerebrovascular fluid compared to placebo. Activities of daily living also declined less in the resveratrol group, hinting that there may be a clinical benefit despite the study being underpowered to detect such effects.
This study is exploratory and was deigned to examine the safety of resveratrol and its effect on Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, so the implications of these findings and whether resveratrol could improve clinical symptoms is not yet clear. The fact that the resveratrol was well tolerated and had interesting effects should stimulate further research.
Notably, a case series recently reported reversal of early Alzheimer’s disease with nutritional and lifestyle medicine, including resveratrol (2). Dietary supplements would be best suited to integrative treatment approaches such as this, rather than stand-alone therapies.
1. Turner RS, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of resveratrol for Alzheimer disease. Neurology. 2015 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Bredesen DE. Reversal of cognitive decline: a novel therapeutic program. Aging (Albany NY). 2014 Sep;6(9):707-17.