Poor brain health increases a person’s risk for reduced ability to focus, along with poor or declining cognitive functioning, uneven moods, and potentially a rapidly failing memory. Taking resveratrol supplements, however, could help to improve brain health and reduce the risk of age-related issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant which occurs naturally in the skin of purple and red fruits such as grapes, raspberries and blueberries.
It is also found in red wine, chocolate and peanuts.
The supplement is rapidly metabolised and excreted from the body, which may help with brain function, said Cognitive Health.
It added: “It’s been suggested that taking resveratrol supplements could prevent the deterioration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain associated with memory.
“Resveratrol supplements are regarded as safe.”
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What is hippocampus?
Hippocampus is a complex brain structure embedded deep into the temporal lobe.
It has a major role in learning and memory.
Hippocampus is a plastic and vulnerable structure which gets damaged by a variety of stimuli.
Studies have indicated that it also gets affected in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
What the studies say
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, resveratrol as a potential hippocampal plasticity enhancer was investigated.
The study said: “The search for molecules capable of restoring altered hippocampal plasticity in psychiatric and neurological conditions is one of the most important tasks of modern neuroscience.
“Resveratrol has been reported to have antioxidant and antitumor properties, but its effects as a neural plasticity inducer are still debated.
“The current review examines recent evidence implicating resveratrol in regulating hippocampal neural plasticity and in mitigating the effects of various disorders and diseases on this important brain structure.”
The study concluded that resveratrol showed to help improve cognition and mood and enhance hippocampal plasticity.
In another study, the effects of resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity and glucose metabolism in healthy adults was further analysed.
The study noted: “we tested whether supplementation of resveratrol would enhance memory performance in older adults and addressed potential mechanisms underlying this effect.
“We observed a significant effect of resveratrol on retention of words over 30 min compared with placebo.
“In addition, resveratrol led to significant increases in hippocampal FC, decreases in glycated haemoglobin and body fat, and increases in leptin compared with placebo.”
Other ways to improve brain health
By eating a healthy and well-balanced diet with colourful options like green peppers, red tomatoes, purple grapes, dark red blueberries and orange carrots, brain health could improve.
When making meal selections, it’s important to include proteins such as fish, beans, chicken and lean cuts of pork or beef.
Consuming foods high in omega-3s like cold water sourced fish such as salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds will also help improve brain function.
It’s important to consult your GP before embarking on new supplements for the brain.