After years of believing that we may be doing our brain good by drinking small-to-moderate amounts of red wine, new research finds that resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol compound produced by the skin of red grapes and peanuts, may in fact be harmful to our brains, particularly if we have MS.
The research, conducted on mouse models, and published in The American Journal of Pathology has found that resveratrol actually worsened MS-like neuropathology and inflammation and had no neuroprotective effects.
According to a news release published on Eurekalert.com: The degree to which resveratrol exacerbated demyelination and inflammation surprised the research team. “Our findings illustrate that caution should be exercised for potential therapeutic application of resveratrol in human inflammatory demyelination diseases, including MS,” says lead investigator Ikuo Tsunoda, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular & Tumor Virology of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA.
In contrast, research by Emma Wightman from the University of Northumbria, reveals that resveratrol improved blood flow to the brain and brain function in human adults.
Wightman’s subjects were normal human adults; Tsunoda’s subjects were mice with a serious brain disorder that damages the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds nerve fibers in our brains and spinal cords.
It appears that Dr. Tsunoda’s research raises important cautions about the use of resveratrol; perhaps it isn’t a miracle supplement after all, or at least not for everyone. Dr. Tsunoda told BetterBrainBetterLife that, as far as the red wine goes, moderate drinkers, even with MS need not worry, for the dosages of resveratrol used in the study are the equivalent of drinking 100 bottles of red wine.