Studies Conflict: Does Red Wine Cause Azheimer's -- or Cure It?

I have some REALLY bad news for some of my friends.  Red wine has been found to be a risk factor for Alheimer's Disease (AD).

According to sciencedaily.com, "Researchers at the Buck Institute found a link between . . ApoE4, a cholesterol-carrying protein" present in 25% of us, and another, SirT1, an "anti-aging protein that is targeted by resveratrol, present in red wine."

"The biochemical mechanisms that link ApoE4 to Alzheimer's disease have been something of a black box. However, recent work from a number of labs, including our own, has begun to open the box," sciencedaily.com quotes Dale Bredesen, MD, founding CEO of the Buck Institute.

But some of the abnormalities for AD could be avoided by increasing the SirT1 proteins, scientists found, and this finding could lead to a new type of screening for AD prevention and treatment, experts say.
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AD affects over 5 million Americans -- there are no treatments that are known to cure, or even halt the progression of symptoms that include loss of memory and language, sciencedaily.com reports. "Preventive treatments are particularly needed for the 2.5% of the population that carry two genes for ApoE4, which puts them at an approximate 10-fold higher risk of developing AD, as well as for the 25% of the population with a single copy of the gene."
 
But before you pour out that lovely merlot, another study in February found the exact opposite, also reported in sciencedaily.com. "Natural chemicals found in green tea and red wine may disrupt a key step of the Alzheimer's disease pathway, according to new research from the University of Leeds."

In early-stage laboratory experiments,  the Web site notes, "The researchers identified the process which allows harmful clumps of protein to latch on to brain cells, causing them to die. They were able to interrupt this pathway using the purified extracts of EGCG from green tea and resveratrol from red wine."

So, what to do?  Continue to drink your red wine, but as in all things, in moderation.



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