National Resveratrol Alzheimer’s Study Underway

Recruiting for a double blind study to determine whether resveratrol can help people with Alzheimer’s disease is underway at 26 medical-academic institutions around the United States. Half the patients will receive 2 resveratrol supplement pills per day and the other half will receive two placebo pills. The study will last for one year, with an escalating dosage given every three months. The dose for the final three months will be two 1000 mg. pills per day. 
The study is being led by Dr. Scott Turner of Georgetown University and is being funded by the National Institute on Aging. 
Editor’s Note: Resveratrol has been shown to help animals with Alzheimer’s disease – most likely by reducing amyloid-beta plaque in their brains. Drug maker Genentech has developed a drug, Crenezumab, which also reduces amyloid-beta plaque. Soon it will launch a five year study in Columbia to determine if this drug can help people predisposed – by genetic factors – to becoming afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. 
One has to wonder; if the above mentioned resveratrol study demonstrates that resveratrol helps Alzheimer’s sufferers to a significant degree, and if other studies prove that resveratrol prevents humans from getting Alzheimer’s disease, what will be the future of Genentech’s drug? Resveratrol, if effective, will surely be a cheaper and more widely available alternative – through supplements, functional foods, and the like. Only time will tell. Let’s hope both therapies help to end this dreadful disease that afflicts over 5 million Americans and many more worldwide. 

Is Resveratrol The Superior Treatment for Macular Degeneration?

A recent presentation at the Association for Research In Vision & Ophthalmology annual meeting brought into focus the potential of resveratrol to treat or prevent macular degeneration (for its part, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults – it affects the ability to see things clearly). 
 
The presenter - Dr. Stuart Richer, Director of the Ocular Preventative Medicine Eye Clinic in Chicago – gave resveratrol based pills (brand name Longevinix) to 17 sufferers of macular degeneration - all who had tried, but were not helped by current therapies. Amazingly, 16 of these patients benefited from resveratrol – some in an astounding manner.
           
For instance, according to Dr. Richer, in one case the resveratrol supplement helped an 88 year old woman regain her ability to read and see faces in four days. The doctor also reported that a 75 year old male patient with worsening vision regained his prior vision in five days. 
 
Editor’s Note: Although it should be considered that these are not results from a double blind large scale study, they are impressive none the less; especially considering that resveratrol can be taken orally, is widely available, and inexpensive. Compare this to the current therapies for macular degeneration – in short, they are draconian and expensive. Specifically, the ‘modern’ way to treat macular degeneration is to visit a specialized eye doctor and allow them to stick a syringe in your eye and inject the drugs Lucentis or Avastin. Anybody who knows someone who has gone through this procedure knows the trauma – emotional and physical (i.e. side effects) that it can cause. 
 
What’s more, these therapies can be very expensive.   For its part, a single dose of Lucentis is $1,950 dollars. Avastin, which one study concluded has a higher risk of complications than Lucentis, carries a single dose of $50. In any case, the question must be asked - If resveratrol therapy is far easier, cheaper, and possibly more effective (Dr. Richer’s patients were not significantly helped by Lucentis or Avastin but were helped by resveratrol) then why wouldn’t resveratrol become the standard therapy for macular degeneration treatment. After Dr. Richer’s findings, it would seem the federal government would push heavily for resveratrol studies to treat macular degeneration – especially considering that in 2010 macular degeneration treatment with Lucentis was the biggest expenditure in the pharmaceutical budget of Medicare Part B.

Does Alec Baldwin Need Resveratrol

Recently, esteemed actor Alec Baldwin said on the David Letterman show that he had stopped 'eating sugar' because he has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. 

The editors of Resveratrol.com hope Mr. Baldwin has heard of resveratrol.   For its part, resveratrol has been found to ameliorate pre-diabetes; specifically, a 150 milligram resveratrol pill (per day) has been shown to improve blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar, and reduce fat in the livers of  pre diabetic overweight humans. 

More Elderly People Forced to Work – Enter Resveratrol?

A recent headline in the Wall Street Journal reads, “More Elderly Find They Can’t Afford Not to Work.”   According to the article, 1.31.million Americans aged 75 or older are currently working – this is a 25% jump from 2005. This trend is likely to accelerate as there are 77 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) living in America currently. As such,  according to the Wall Street Journal, the government estimates that 10% of Americans 75 and older will be working by 2018 (up from 7.3% now).
For its part, resveratrol likely could help these oldest working Americans by improving energy levels through increased mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cell), improving heart and endothelial function, and improving mental performance by increasing blood flow to the brain. (Please see Resveratrol.com for more information on these benefits)
It is unfortunate that these difficult economic times are forcing our most revered citizens (those seniors over 75) back into the workforce. Hopefully the seniors who must work will be educated to benefits of resveratrol. 

Diabetes and Blood Thinner Drugs Are Responsible for the Majority of Hospital Visits – Enter Resveratrol

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shed light on what drugs are responsible for the majority of visits by senior citizens to emergency rooms. Surprisingly, widely used diabetes medications and blood thinners are the primary culprits – not the perceived ‘high risk’ medications such as painkillers. 
Specifically, the study revealed that an astounding one third of senior hospital visits are related to the blood thinning medication warfarin (for its part, warfarin use must be monitored very closely as it can otherwise lead to dangerous bleeding. According to the study, bleeding due to warfarin costs the health system “probably hundreds of millions of dollars annually).
 
Further, injectable insulin (mainly for type one diabetics), diabetes pills (mainly for type two diabetics), and aspirin were responsible for another third of hospital visits.
Moreover, left unchecked, these hospitalizations are expected to grow as people live longer and take an ever increasing number of medications. (As of right now, 40 percent of people 65 and older take 5 to 9 medications, while 18 percent take 10 or more!).
 
The good news is, because we have identified these drivers for our ever increasing higher health costs, we can now address them. Specifically, not only can we better educate the public about how to safely take and monitor these potentially dangerous drugs, but we can look for alternatives ways to treat people.
For its part, the natural compound resveratrol might (at the least) be a partial answer to these hospitalizations (and their accompanying costs – both in human and monetary terms).   
 
Specifically resveratrol has been shown to:
·        1) increase insulin sensitivity in people with type two diabetes and pre-diabetes; and,
·         2) prevent blood platelet aggregation (acting as a blood thinner, thereby helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks).
 
What makes resveratrol different than many of the above mentioned pharmaceutical drugs is that it is a natural substance with little known negative side effects. So, theoretically, one multi-tasking pill (Resveratrol) (not 5 to 10 pills!) could be given to seniors to help them control their blood sugar and prevent heart attacks and strokes – without the negative side effects and resulting hospital visits.
 
In this way resveratrol can help to control exploding health care costs plaguing the United States, and increasingly the world.  

Does Taking Resveratrol Make Your Unborn Children Healthier?

A study just published in the journal Nature raises the possibility that expression of longevity enhancing genes can be passed down to future generations – even without changing the future generation’s genetic coding. In other words, the coding sequence of the DNA is not changed, but the selection of what genes are expressed and what genes are silent is changed (this occurrence is also known as epigenetics). In sum, these are chemical changes as opposed to sequencing changes.
For their part, sirtuins, as well as a calorie restricted diets, are known to make proteins that affect such chemical changes. So, a person who takes resveratrol (or who reduces their calorie intake by a third while still consuming the required nutrients) could pass health and longevity onto their later born children. 
Note: the amazing effect of epigenetics has been revealed in several recent studies. For instance, one 2010 paper showed that altering cholesterol metabolism in male mice through diet altered their later born offspring’s lipids and cholesterol. Another 2010 study found that male mice who consumed high fat diets had later born daughters who were fatter and who also suffered from Type II diabetes.  In both of these studies, changes in DNA sequencing were not present. 

Is Resveratrol the “Fountain of Youth”?

Resveratrol has often been called the fountain of youth. So is it? 
Because this compound can fight many of the diseases of aging, thereby promoting a healthy lifespan, some might say the answer is yes. 
For its part, resveratrol has been shown to fight or prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes among others. According to a recent study from the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is responsible for 12.8% of deaths worldwide, stroke - 10.8%, and diabetes - 2.2%. And in the world’s highest income countries, lung & trachea cancer are responsible for 5.9% of deaths, colon cancer – 3.3%, breast cancer – 1.9%, and Alzheimer’s disease (and other forms of dementia) – 4.1%.   What’s more, the rates of many of these diseases are increasing as unhealthy ‘Western’ style diets and physical inactivity (due to more workers working behind desks) spreads globally.
It stands to reason that if resveratrol can treat or prevent many of the diseases of aging, then people taking resveratrol will most likely live longer than they would if they did not take resveratrol.  In other words, they will have a much greater chance of living out their natural maximum lifespan in a healthy and active way.   Conversely, those not taking resveratrol would be more susceptible to the diseases of aging, and thus would have a greater chance of dying from them. 
In sum, because resveratrol fights the diseases of aging, people taking it have a much greater chance of living longer than they would if they did not take it. Further, their additional years would most likely be healthy and active years – not years spent immobilized (perhaps in a hospital bed or home sofa) fighting the diseases of aging. 

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