Resveratrol May Help Reduce Senior Falls

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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Resveratrol May Help Reduce Senior Falls
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Falling is a major issue for seniors as they age. One-third of adults over 65 fall every year, and one-quarter of adults who experience a hip fracture die the following year. A new animal study suggests help for seniors. It demonstrates that resveratrol can help return better balance and coordination, partly by protecting nerves from deterioration.

“Our study suggests that a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies that are seen in our aging population,” said Jane E. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., leader of the research team. “And that would, therefore, increase an aging person’s quality of life and decrease his or her risk of hospitalization due to slips and falls.”

In the study the researchers fed young and old mice resveratrol, while also tracking control groups of young and old mice that received no resveratrol. The mice were then challenged to walk across a difficult balance beam. Initially, all the old mice struggled. However, by the fourth week on resveratrol the old mice performed like young mice, whereas the old mice not given resveratrol still struggled. The researchers also identified that dopamine nerve transmission was improved and protected by resveratrol. This finding would not only apply to coordination in general, but also to Parkinson’s patients.

Resveratrol has a wide array of health benefits, especially to help offset the trend of aging in a way that facilitates better quality of health. While animal studies must always be taken with a grain of salt, they do help predict possibility. If better coordination turns out to be a healthy side effect of taking resveratrol, nobody will complain. In fact, lives may be saved.

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