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Alzheimer’s and Resveratrol

Alzheimer’s research feels like a roller coaster ride. First there were ubiquitous claims that diet, exercise and mental stimulation helped prevent Alzheimer’s. This gave us some semblance of control because we could make healthy choices; be proactive about the disease, especially if there was a family member who became sick with it. Then new studies have come out which say that this cause and effect relationship is not valid from a scientific perspective – the statistics don’t support the correlation between a healthy lifestyle and prevention. However, people are still advised to continue living a balanced, heart smart, supported and stimulated life– well it couldn’t hurt! Or maybe new research will come along to prove that living a healthy lifestyle does in fact postpone or even prevent Alzheimer’s. Remember how eating eggs was a no-no; then the American Medical Association gave us a dispensation to eat several a week.

Now there is a new kid on the Alzheimer’s block: resveratrol. Resveratrol, an organic compound found in red wine, grapes and peanuts and touted for its anti-aging and cancer prevention properties, is being analyzed in the lab for neutralizing the bad proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease according to research led by Rensselaer Professor Peter M. Tessier. And reseveratrol is selective according to Tessier, ““Resveratrol picks out the clumps of peptides that are bad and leaves alone the ones that are benign…The surprise is that this molecule can target some of these packing arrangements that are toxic and rearrange them into packing arrangements that are not toxic. For those forms that are non-toxic, it doesn’t change them.”

However, no one knows if resveratrol crosses the blood/brain barrier. In the lab all this looks promising. And by now you know the qualifying statements: This discovery invites further study.

As for me, I plan on adhering to a Mediterranean Diet, exercising (cardio, strength training and stretching), fulfilling my purpose as a writer and speaker, reading and studying, socializing with friends and being creative with an activity like gardening to serve as a moving meditation. Laughter, love and life…
For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show





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