Nutrients may reduce chances for AD and preserve brain function

Resveratrol shows promise in AD
Doctors theorized that the anti- inflammatory nutrient, resveratrol, might slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the first study of its kind, doctors were able to show that resveratrol appeared to penetrate the blood/brain barrier, with measurable levels detected in cerebrospinal fluid.

The study gave 119 participants with mild to moderate AD a placebo or 500 mg of resveratrol per day for 13 weeks, increasing in 500-mg increments each 13 weeks until reaching 1,000 mg twice per day from weeks 40 through 52.

After one year, those taking resveratrol had stabilized levels of a biomarker, Abeta-40, that normally declines as AD progresses. In a related finding, brain volume declined more in the resveratrol group than placebo, which doctors attributed to reduced swelling from the inflammation that occurs in AD. While some participants reported nausea or diarrhea, doctors declared resveratrol safe and well tolerated.

Omega-3s preserve brain function
Some adults carry a gene that increases chances for AD late in life. In this study, doctors measured the diets and circulating  levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in 40 older adults with healthy brains, but who were carriers of the gene.

Men and women who consumed the most omega-3s had the highest circulating  levels of EPA and DHA and also performed better on tests of cognitive flexibility; the ability to quickly switch from one task to another. Parti- cipants with higher omega-3 levels also had larger brain volume in the area that contributes to the switching function.

Reference: Neurology; September, 2015, Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being December 2015

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