A new study discovered that highly concentrated form of a compound in red wine and dark chocolates may have effects against the progression of Alzheimer's disease. They found out that resveratrol could show promise in the debilitating disease's treatment.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant that plants produce to protect them against stress from the environment. It can be extracted from wine, red grapes, berries or dark chocolate, reports the U.S. News and World Report.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, is the first to shed light on the effects of resveratrol on Alzheimer's disease which is the ninth leading cause of death among Americans. In fact, in 2013, as many as 5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer's disease and by 2050, this number is projected to reach around 14 million.
According to Scott Turner, director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center and lead author of the study, reiterates that further research is needed despite the success of the phase 2 of their clinical trial, reports Washington Post.
However, they found out that the compound produced a promising effect on the level of beta amyloid, the abnormal protein found in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Those who consumed two grams of resveratrol had stabilized levels of this protein. This protein should decrease in time as the disease progresses because it will form plagues in the brain.
The study did not specifically show whether people's symptoms were stabilized too. Health experts caution that this study needs further investigation and larger trials are needed .
"It does appear to be safe, and we did find evidence that resveratrol can get into the brain," Turner said.
He added, "We're not ready to recommend it as a treatment for Alzheimer's."
Yet supplements containing the said compound are now available in many drug stores.