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Compound in Red Wine May Fight Alzheimer's

Don't Raise a Toast Just Yet, Researcher Cautions

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"It is known from previous studies that if you isolate, purify, or produce the compound directly and you inject it in mice, the compound is very rapidly degraded, mostly by the kidney system," he explains. "To use it as a drug like that is difficult."

Marambaud says his team has already developed a series of molecules that are 20 times more active than natural resveratrol in terms of reducing beta-amyloid protein.

Those molecules are already being tested on mice; tests will take six months to a year and will check for toxicity, Marambaud says.

He adds that resveratrol has been shown to have some "very interesting pharmacological effects" against herpes, some cancers, and possibly neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's.

Resveratrol Sources

Black grapes are nature's best source of resveratrol, Marambaud notes.

Red grapes have more resveratrol than green grapes, and red wine is richer in resveratrol than white wine.

Peanuts and some berries also have some resveratrol, says Marambaud.

He explains that plants generally make resveratrol as a defense against infection. "Some specific grapes were found to be very good at this ... especially black grapes," Marambaud says.


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