Compound in wine and tea may reduce dementia plaque within 'a week' – ‘Strong efficacy' – Express


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Alzheimer’s disease is driven by the build-up of abnormal proteins around brain cells, which prevents them from communicating with one another. The direct result of this is a loss of cognitive fluidity, which may translate to memory loss and confusion. Fortunately, certain natural compounds have proven strongly effective in reducing plaque formation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The latest findings, published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, found that two common compounds known as catechin and resveratrol reduced plaque formation in the brain.
What’s more, the potent antioxidants found in red wine and an array of other foods confer protection without producing undesirable side effects.
The two compounds have been explored in a series of studies as a potential treatment for several diseases, yet they do not always penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which is essential for Alzheimer’s.
The discovery is nonetheless essential since there is not yet any treatment to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s or slow its progression.
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plaque
Dana Cairns, a research associate in the Kaplan Lab in the School of Engineering and leader of the study, explained that some of the 21 compounds tested slowed the progression of the disease by acting as anti-viral agents.
In other words, these compounds reduced the progression of Alzheimer’s disease induced by the herpes virus.
Finding compounds that could diminish the formation of plaques regardless of the viral components, however, would be ideal for neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
“That would show that regardless of the cause of Alzheimer’s, you might still see some kind of improvement,” said the lead author.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring plant compound found in grapes, apples, blueberries, plums and peanuts.
Writing in the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2018, nutritional researchers explained: “This compound has critical roles in human health and is well known for its diverse biological activities such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.”
In fact, several studies have revealed the efficacy of resveratrol in combating various diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and age-related illness.
Similarly, a host of studies have looked at the ability of catechins in green tea to eradicate infectious agents in the body.
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Catechins
The research has consistently shown the compound has anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Cairns noted: “We hoped to find compounds that would be harmless and show some levels of efficacy.
“We got lucky that some of these showed some pretty strong efficacy. In the case of these compounds that passed the screening, they had virtually no plaques visible after about a week.”
The researcher added: “[…] Natural sources of resveratrol include red wine, certain fruits such as grapes, blueberries and cranberries, peanuts, pistachios and cocoa.
Alzheimer's disease
“While it is empowering to be able to take measures like these to prevent neuro-degeneration in the future potentially, it is also important to consult with your health-care provider before making any major changes to your diet.”
The researchers believe the findings present a strong case for using the two compounds pharmaceutically to make them more bioavailable.
This, explains Cairns, would enable resveratrol and catechins to penetrate the brain barrier a bit better, increasing their efficacy yet further.
The two compounds can be safely consumed and easily accessed when taken as a supplement or consumed as part of one’s diet, but supplements should not be taken without the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider.
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