When taken in concentrated doses, an important antioxidant — a food molecule that protects or delays cell damage — found in chocolate, red wine, and grapes could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients who have already been diagnosed, new research has found. The antioxidant, resveratrol, is also found in peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries.
In earlier research, resveratrol has also been the subject of research indicating its efficacy against illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as protection against Alzheimer’s. The latest study, however, indicates that resveratrol may be beneficial to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
In a study that reviewed data across two dozen medical institutions in the United States, patients who were given an experimental drug containing high levels of resveratrol — 500 milligrams per day to start, with dosage escalation by 500 milligram increments every 13 weeks, ending with 1,000 milligrams twice daily — were observed against a control group which received only placebo pills for the duration of the research. In resveratrol patients, the antibiotic was found to have preserved more essential plasma and cerebrospinal fluids — loss of which is indicative of neurological decline.
Although the researchers cautioned that “further studies are required to interpret the biomarker changes associated with resveratrol treatment,” the data suggests notable benefits for patients who received the pill. According to CNN, patients with the antioxidant pills even felt like their mental facilities were well maintained, and had better cognitive control over daily functions.
Given the lack of regulation in the health supplement industry, available supplements are unlikely to have the same protective effect for now — but it’s all the more reason to stock up on foods that are high in resveratrol.