Resveratrol Shows Metabolic and Brain Signaling Benefits

ResveratrolA new animal study found that daily supplementation with Resveratrol may increase energy metabolism, cell signaling pathways and neurotransmission.

23 male adult monkeys were randomly assigned to one of three groups: A control group fed a healthy diet, A negative control group fed a diet high in sugar and fat and a group fed a diet high in sugar and fats and supplemental Resveratrol (80 mg per day for the first year and 480 mg per day for the second year).  The study lasted 2 years.  Researchers used proteomics to identify changes in the expression of 12 specific proteins in the brains of these rhesus monkeys.

Improvements in energy metabolism and the efficiency of cell signaling pathways and neurotransmission in the group supplementing with the Resveratrol in addition to the high fat and sugar diet were seen.

This study adds to the existing science on the healthy benefits of Resveratrol, a very powerful polyphenal.  A lot of research has focused on Resveratrol’s cardiovascular benefits due to the nutraceuticals association with the “French Paradox”.  This phrase was used to describe the low incidence of obesity and heart disease in the French people even though they have a diet moderately high in fat.  It is believed to be their consumption of Red wine that neutralizes the damage of their high fat diet.

Further studies are needed.

A good Resveratrol product will be standardized to 200 mg of trans-resveratrol (the phyto-nutrient in the resveratrol that gives the polyphenal its beneficial properties).  Additional Grape Seed Extract may be added to provide additional antioxidant benefits.



Could Folic Acid Decrease Dementia Risk?

Folic Acid and DementiaResearch suggests daily supplementation with folic acid may reduce the risk of having dementia in populations with low levels of this B vitamin and no program to fortify the diet with this nutraceutical.

Data from over 1,300 participants was analyzed.  Face to face interviews were done at the beginning of this study, the Three-City Study, to identify health related issues, socio demographic information and lifestyle characteristics.  All participants completed a 24 hour dietary recall and were dementia free at the time of the diet assessment.  Participants were followed for approximately 7 and ½ years.

Higher intakes of folate (folic acid) were inversely associated with the risk of dementia with approximately a 50% lower risk for participants with the highest folate levels compared to those with the lowest folate levels.

78 countries currently call for mandatory fortification programs for folic acid.  This was done to reduce and prevent neural tube defects in newborn babies.


Probiotics Improve Cognitive Function Among Patients With Severe Dementia

Probiotics and Brain Function

A new clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients shows that probiotics may improve cognitive function in humans.  Prior studies showing probiotics benefits for improvements in memory and learning as well as anxiety and depression reduction have been done with mice.

60 patients with Alzheimer’s disease participated in this double blind, controlled trial.  Patients ranged in age from 60 to 95 years.  The study lasted 12 weeks.  Patients were randomly divided into 2 groups.  The control group received milk and the other group received a 200 ml/day mixture of probiotic milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium biffidum and Lactobacillus fermentum.  A small mental state exam (MMSE) score was recorded both before and after treatment for all participants.  Additionally fasting blood samples were taken to determine related markers both before and after the study period.

Average scores on the MMSE questionnaires increased significantly from 8.7 to 10.6 (out of a maximum of 30) in the group receiving the probiotic and decreased in the control group from 8.7 to 8.0.  The probiotic group also showed reduction in triglycerides and insulin resistance indicating that a “change in the metabolic adjustments might be a mechanism by which probiotics affect Alzheimer’s and possibly other neurological disorders” according to the study’s lead author.

Further studies are already planned.



Low COQ10 Levels Linked With Neurodegeneration

neurodegnerationA new study has found people with multiple system atrophy have low levels of CoQ10 and could be helped with supplementation of this important cell oxygenator.  Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurological disorder.  The body’s autonomic (involuntary) functions like bladder function, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure are impaired.  MSA formerly called Shy-Drager syndrome shares many symptoms with Parkinson’s disease.

Over 40 patients with MSA, with an average age of 64, and 39 control patients, with an average age of 60, participated in this study.  Blood samples from the MSA patients where compared with the control group who had no neurodegenerative diseases.

Plasma levels of CoQ10 were significantly lower in the participants with MCA regardless of age, sex and COQ2 genotype.  COQ2 is a protein coding gene which is involved with the biosynthesis of CoQ10.  3 of the MSA participants had a mutation in their COQ2 genotype and had even lower plasma levels of CoQ10 than other individuals who did not carry the mutation.

A Phase II clinical trial is planned for the early part of next year to assess the efficacy of CoQ10 in patients with MSA.  Researchers believe that high doses of CoQ10 will be needed to deliver adequate amounts of this nutrient into the brain.  A Phase I clinical trial to determine the safety of supplementation with high dosages of CoQ10 on healthy participants has just been completed.

Prior studies suggest CoQ10 may increase blood flow to the brain.

ATP or adenosine triphosphate is the main molecule that serves as an energy source for all biochemical and physiological processes in the body. ATP is manufactured via a complex process in a tiny part of the cell known as the mitochondria. Within the mitochondria, CoQ10 plays a major role as part of the electron transport chain, the major metabolic pathway for making energy in every cell. The process of electron transport produces free radicals that may cause damage to healthy cells. CoQ10, as an antioxidant helps neutralize these free radicals helping to support continued function of the mitochondria and other important cellular components. CoQ10 has been extensively studied for its ability to support cardiovascular function.  It has been shown to help support the heart muscle, normal, healthy blood pressure a well as provide benefit to individual’s taking cholesterol lowering medications. These medications have been shown to reduce blood levels of CoQ10.




Omega-3 Levels Linked to Better Cognitive Performance

A new study has found that increased serum levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acids were associated with older men and women seeing improved performance on neuropsychological tests. Data from over 750 participants of the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study was analyzed. The individuals participating in that study had ages ranging from 53 to…

via Omega-3 Levels Linked to Better Cognitive Performance — Nature’s Vitamins

What is Metabolic Syndrome? — Nature’s Vitamins

What is Metabolic Syndrome? According to the American Heart Association over 47 million Americans (1 in 6 people) are afflicted with this health condition. Not actually a disease itself, Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol and stored abdominal fat. Each of these…

via What is Metabolic Syndrome? — Nature’s Vitamins