Posted on Sep 10, 2014, 6 a.m.
Dietary supplementation of resveratrol may enhance memory performance, among older men and women.
Abundant in polyphenols, resveratrol has been shown by a number of previous studies to increase memory performance among animal models. AV Witte, from the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence/Charite (Germany) and colleagues enrolled 23 healthy, overweight older individuals, ages 50-75 years, matched to 23 control subjects, in a 26-week long study. The test subjects were given 200 mg/day of resveratrol as a dietary supplement. Both prior to and following the intervention/control period, subjects underwent memory tasks and neuroimaging to assess volume, microstructure, and functional connectivity of the hippocampus, a key region implicated in memory functions. In addition, the researchers measured anthropometry, glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, neurotrophic factors, and vascular parameters. The team observed a significant effect of resveratrol on retention of words over 30 minutes among the group receiving the resveratrol supplement, as compared to placebo. Further, the resveratrol supplementation led to significant increases in hippocampal functional connectivity, decreases in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and body fat, and increases in leptin. The researchers were able to correlate the increases in functional connectivity between the left posterior hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex to increases in retention scores and with decreases in HbA1c. Observing that: “This study provides initial evidence that supplementary resveratrol improves memory performance in association with improved glucose metabolism and increased hippocampal [functional connectivity] in older adults,” the study authors submit that: “Our findings offer the basis for novel strategies to maintain brain health during aging.”
Witte AV, Kerti L, Margulies DS, Floel A. “Effects of resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity, and glucose metabolism in healthy older adults.” J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 4;34(23):7862-70.