Grape Compound May Fight Alzheimer's Too

I've been telling you about resveratrol, the natural polyphenol found in grapes, peanuts, berries and red wine, that fights cancer for a while. Resveratrol can also lower the level of amyloid-beta peptides that create plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. And, it may be effective in battling Huntington's and Parkinson's disease too.

In testing cells that produce those damaging amyloids, resveratrol was found to reduce peptide levels significantly, compared to those left untreated. Resveratrol fights Alzheimer's, scientists speculate, by stimulating the breakup of peptides by the proteasome, a barrel-shaped multi-protein complex that can specifically digest proteins into short polypeptides and amino acids.

Scientists are less certain, however, if eating a resveratrol-rich diet will work, which is why they've begun follow-up research to determine the molecular mechanisms that resveratrol triggers to fight Alzheimer's

Just a reminder, if you want to boost your consumption of resveratrol, stick with natural sources like whole grape skins (pass up the meat of the grape, which has no resveratrol but a lot of extra fructose) and stay away from alcoholic beverages.

I also urge you to review my recent guidelines that can protect you from Alzheimer's without taking a drug.

Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 280, No. 45, November 11, 2005: 37377-37382

Science Daily November 4, 2005

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