Resveratrol May Boost Brain Function on Demand
Just a relatively small amount of resveratrol may increase blood flow and boost brain function on demand, according to scientists at Northumbria University in the UK. The new findings open up some interesting possibilities for resveratrol as a supplement.
Numerous studies have explored the potential healing properties of resveratrol, a molecule found in red grapes (skins only), red wine, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries, and peanuts, as well as Chinese giant knotweed, from which some resveratrol supplements are made. Results suggest that use of resveratrol supplements may be beneficial in preventing or treating cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions.
In the Northumbria University study, researchers used a resveratrol supplement called Biotivia Bioforte Resveratrol, which contains 250 mg of the trans-Resveratrol isomer in each dose. Twenty-two university student volunteers participated in the double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study in which they received placebo and two doses (250 and 500 mg) of resveratrol on counterbalanced days.
A 45-minute resting period followed each dose to allow the resveratrol (or placebo) to be absorbed. The volunteers then participated in mental tasks for 36 minutes, after which the scientists used near-infrared spectoscopy to measure the concentration changes in hemoglobin.
The researchers observed that use of resveratrol substantially increased blood flow in the brain while the volunteers were performing cognitive tasks. This finding indicates that resveratrol may enhance brain function when individuals are called up to perform difficult mental functions. The results appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It is too early to declare that use of resveratrol will boost brain function and be the supplement of choice whenever someone takes a test or exam. However, the study and its findings are important “because it is a peer-reviewed human clinical trial, not an animal study or a study of cells in a culture,” noted James Betz, PhD, managing director of Biotivia. “What this study tells us is that Resveratrol clearly does improve one of the key parameters of brain performance.”
Kennedy DO et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 Mar. 31
Linus Pauling Institute