Resveratrol as a Superior Brain-Protecting Nutrient

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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Resveratrol as a Superior Brain-Protecting Nutrient
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The scientific evaluation of resveratrol continues to impress one and all, with recent research showing extreme protection against the chain of events that leads to cognitive decline and the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Many nutrients now show impressive ability to support the health of your brain and resveratrol sits right at the top of the list.

Resveratrol is best known for its ability to activate the Sirtuin 1 gene (Sirt1), also known as the longevity gene. I have previously reviewed the science on this topic in my detailed article, Is Resveratrol the Fountain of Youth? This article also explains the value of resveratrol for weight management and cardiovascular health. New studies continue to document the power of how resveratrol operates to protect and preserve your brain (see related articles below for other studies I have posted on this topic).

Mitochondria are your cellular engines and need to maintain energetic gusto in order for cells to work at an optimal rate. Your nerve-transmitting cells rely on mitochondria to make neurotransmitters flow at optimal speed, in turn supporting cognitive function, memory, and intelligence. During aging mitochondria become progressively more “feeble,” which corresponds directly to a decline in brain function. A new animal study shows that resveratrol, as well as melatonin, restore Sirt1 gene function in neuron mitochondria and prevent them from becoming feeble. This is a potent anti-aging effect within the brain.

Another study evaluates microglial inflammation within the brain. Specialized glial cells, called microglial, act in part as your brain’s immune system and help to regulate inflammation. When microglial become overheated from too much wear and tear, then their inflammation contributes to the accumulation amyloid beta plaque which is the hallmark of cognitive decline and risk for Alzheimer’s. Another new animal study has documented the precise mechanism by which resveratrol calms down microglial so they quit making brain plaque.

Besides your adipose tissue, your brain and your liver are the two fattiest organs in your body. Such fats are structural and functional in nature and key to health. Thus, nutrients that protect your liver also protect your brain and vice versa. In another animal experiment researchers induced biliary obstruction resulting in liver damage. Resveratrol reduced the inflammation in the liver (TNFa and IL6), lowered the elevated liver enzymes that reflect liver damage (ALT and AST), and extended the lifespan of the damaged animals.

Resveratrol research continues its impressive string of stunning results, this time demonstrating its valuable role in protecting and preserving the brain and liver.

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