Research carried out by the universities Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Castilla-La Mancha and the Autónoma de Barcelona has managed to demonstrate that red wine, consumed in moderation, prevents Alzheimer's disease. According to this study, this beneficial effect on health is attributed to a molecule, resveratrol, present in red grapes, which acts as a neuroprotective against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Mairena Martín, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and one of the founders of the project, said: "Resveratrol is capable of acting on the brain in a way similar to the natural messenger molecules in cells and can contribute towards alleviating the effect of degeneration and cell death that occurs in the neurons of the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease."
"Resveratrol acts on the cellular receptors that pick up messages from molecules, among which is adenosine, in charge of telling the brain what it has to do to carry out functions such as thinking, speaking, understanding, learning or memorising," added the researcher.
The study used the brains of patients who had died of Alzheimer's disease and who had damage to adenosine and its cellular receptors.
The study, which has been published in the prestigious journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine, also underlines that red wine is rich in molecules with antioxidant effects, including polyphenols such as resveratrol, which reduce and block "oxidative stress" related to cardiovascular and degenerative pathologies and cancer.
"Moderate wine consumption is healthy because wine contains molecules that could counteract the harmful effects of free radicals responsible for the oxidative stress of alcohol," said Dr Martin in this research that shows that "resveratrol is cardioprotective, chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic as well as a neuroprotective compound".