Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start, just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.
The prevalence of dementia for those over 65 years of age is 14% in men and 32% in women. By the age of 80, 63% of those with dementia are women.
Resveratrol has been widely publicized for its cardiovascular health benefits. However, researchers believe it also has positive effects on the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is critical to functions such as memory, learning and mood.
In a recent study published in Nutrients, researchers demonstrated oral supplementation with resveratrol enhanced both cerebrovascular function and cognition in post-menopausal women, which can potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Cognitive decline is associated with decreased cerebral blood flow and a reduced ability of cerebral arteries to dilate. There is evidence to suggest that the loss of estrogen may contribute to reduced cerebrovascular responsiveness. As a result, maintaining cerebrovascular function may help optimize mood and prevent cognitive decline.
Resveratrol can act through several mechanisms, including binding and activating estrogen receptors to increase nitric oxide bioavailability and facilitate the vasodilatation for adequate cerebral perfusion.
This study was a 14-week randomized, double-blind, placebo control trial consisting of 72 women. The researchers demonstrated that a single 75 mg dose of resveratrol was most efficacious for enhancing global cerebral vasodilatation and cognitive performance.
These results support resveratrol supplementation as a potential strategy for mitigating premature cognitive decline in post-menopausal women. Researchers also observed marginal improvements in mood, suggesting possible additional benefits to quality of life in the years following menopause.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS
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Source: Evans, HM et al. Effects of Resveratrol on Cognitive Performance, Mood and Cerebrovascular Function in Post-Menopausal Women; A 14-Week Randomised Placebo-Controlled Intervention Trial. Nutrients. 2017 Jan 3;9(1). pii: E27. doi: 10.3390/nu9010027.