We've heard before how red wine helps cut down on heart disease, but now UCLA researchers have isolated the reason why and in addition may know why vino may also lessen the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
UCLA neurology professor David Teplow and his team measured how compounds called polyphenols found naturally in red wine block the formation of plaque in the bloodstream. This plaque is also known to clog arteries and lead to Alzheimer's disease. The research was conducted on lab mice and found that polyphenols extracted from grape seeds blocked the formation of the harmful proteins and also reduced their toxicity.
Now the discovery will be tested on humans.
"We believe this is an important next step," Teplow said.
This is why the French, whose typical diet consists of rich cholesterol clogging foods and saturated fats as well as large amounts of wine does not lead to correspondingly-high levels of heart disease or Alzheimer's in that country. The new research is the first to explain the mechanics of how the variousl polyphenols work to combat plaque.
The research is in the November issue of Journal of Biological Chemistry.