Red wine and dark chocolate may have been discovered as yet another aid for treating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, it was discovered that coffee helped victims of the disease in a similar fashion. Scientists at Georgetown University have studied the chemical reactions of the antioxidant resveratrol, found in both red wine and dark chocolate, and how it can effect the protein amyloid-beta40 that comes along with Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite the researchers’ initial thoughts, fully recovering from Alzheimer’s by drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate is not very likely. Georgetown scientists discovered this reality after completing a study with 119 participants who have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The amount of red wine required to begin reversing Alzheimer’s is 1,000 bottles per day.
With it being impossible for a person to safely consume that much wine on a daily basis, the researcher developed a resveratrol supplement, which contains antioxidants equivalent to 1,000 bottles of red wine. Recently, the study’s lead investigator, R. Scott Turner explained the interaction between the red wine-dark chocolate resvertrol and the Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta40.
“A decrease in Abeta40 is seen as dementia worsens and Alzheimer’s disease progresses; still, we can’t conclude from this study that the effects of resveratrol treatment are beneficial. It does appear that resveratrol was able to penetrate the blood brain barrier, which is an important observation. Resveratrol was measured in both blood and cerebrospinal fluid.”
Though the results of the study prove that resveratrol does decrease the Alzhmeiner’s protein, it is not recommended for use in medical practice because the study wasn’t vast enough. Over a 12 month period, the reaction to the reveratrol showed little to no progress in treating Alzheimer’s, according to The Independent. Turner suggests that more studies take place before the resvertrol is given to Alzheimer’s patients by medical professionals. Additionally, the lead researcher gives advice on how to study the effects of the red wine and dark chocolate resvertrol in the future.
“This is a single, small study with findings that call for further research to interpret properly. Given safety and positive trends toward effectiveness in this phase 2 study, a larger phase 3 study is warranted to test whether resveratrol is effective for individuals with Alzheimer’s, or at risk for Alzheimer’s.”
The study on the effects of red wine and dark chocolate on cognitive function specifically for Alzheimer’s is published in the journal of Neurology. Resvertrol is also being tested against other diseases like cancer and diabetes.
[Photo by Tom Kelley/Getty Images]