Can Resveratrol Help Prevent Alzheimer's?

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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Can Resveratrol Help Prevent Alzheimer's?
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As amyloid beta protein fragments accumulate in your brain, cognitive function is lost. An intriguing new study has documented the precise mechanism that causes ApoE4 to produce excessive amounts of amyloid beta protein – it suppresses SIRT1. When the researchers raised SIRT1 levels, the problem of excessive production of amyloid beta stops. We know from a number of other studies that resveratrol raises SIRT1 levels.

The ApoE4 gene is a cholesterol-carrying protein possessed by 25% of the American population. It has long been associated with Alzheimer’s, as two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients carry one copy of this gene. In the 2% of the population with two copies of the gene then the risk for Alzheimer’s increases 10 fold. Until now, the mechanism behind how ApoE4 caused excessive amyloid beta was unknown.

SIRT1 is a longevity gene. It is actually designed to help you withstand starvation. When you eat too much you turn it off. Problems such as being overweight and blood sugar issues, as I have been discussing in recent posts, are examples of metabolism with depressed SIRT1. Simply following the Leptin Diet and not snacking automatically improves SIRT1, as well as metabolism in general. Consistent exercise also conditions the SIRT1 system to be more efficient.

Various nutrients are also able to activate SIRT1, with resveratrol (red wine) the most potent known. Quercetin (apples and red onions), fisetin (strawberries) and green tea have also shown some ability to boost SIRT1. These nutrients can be used along with the Leptin Diet and exercise to accomplish a potent SIRT1 enhancing strategy, which is not only a good general purpose anti-aging strategy but may be especially important for brain preservation in the 25% of Americans carrying the ApoE4 gene.

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