A study published in the November 11 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that resveratrol, a compound found in grapes and red wine, lowers the levels of the amyloid-beta peptides which cause the telltale senile plaques of Alzheimers disease.
"Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol occurring in abundance in several plants, including grapes, berries and peanuts," explains study author Philippe Marambaud. "The polyphenol is found in high concentrations in red wines. The highest concentration of resveratrol has been reported in wines prepared from Pinot Noir grapes. Generally, white wines contain 1% to 5% of the resveratrol content present in most red wines."
One of the characteristic features of Alzheimers disease is the deposition of amyloid-beta peptides in the brain. Philippe Marambaud and his colleagues at the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimers Disease and Memory Disorders in Manhasset, New York, administered resveratrol to cells which produce human amyloid-beta and tested the compounds effectiveness by monitoring amyloid-beta levels inside and outside the cells. They found that levels of amyloid-beta in the treated cells were much lower than those in untreated cells.
Nicole Kresge | EurekAlert!
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