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Antioxidant Power Of Resveratrol

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Beta-amyloid is a peptide consisting of 32 amino acids.

It is commonly found in your body and its main role is to activate kinase enzymes, protect against oxidative stress, regulate cholesterol transport and can also perform anti-microbial activity.

However, even though beta-amyloid job is not to cause disease, it has been shown as the main mediator in the formation of senile plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The formation of beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease is mainly caused by reactive oxygen intermediaries.

Current research has focused on ways to slow or stop the formation of amyloid plaques through the use of antioxidants due to antioxidant’s ability to reduce oxidative stress as well as slowing cell death.

This study reveals that Resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol, may have the ability to slow cell death and protect the brain cells against beta-amyloid plaque formation.

Let me explain…


Resveratrol, a phytoalexin found in the skin of grapes and red wine, has been used in many different areas of health and wellness.

It has been thought that resveratrol is the main driving force behind the French Paradox (high consumption of red wine and lower cardiovascular disease risk) due to its antioxidant potential.

Resveratrol, research suggests, could hold anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties and now may show benefits to slowing the growth of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Research

Researchers took cleaves of PC-12 cells from rats and subjected them to treatments with both beta-amyloid peptide and also pre-treated cells with resveratrol.

They noted that PC-12 cells treated with beta-amyloid peptide showed an increase in reactive oxygen intermediaries (ROI) and underwent programmed cell death faster than the pre-treated group.

They also noticed those same cells showed a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, a decrease cleavage of poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase, and an increase in the ratio between BaX and Bcl-X(L).

There was also an increase in c-Jun N-terminal kinase and the activation of NF-kappaβ.

However, when treated with Resveratrol, the same cells showed slower increase in cytotoxicity, programmed cell death, and ROI accumulation. 

Also, Resveratrol suppressed the activation of NF-kappaβ in the cells treated with beta-amyloid.

Resveratrol and Brain Health

Resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol, has been shown to improve heart health (cardio-protective), skin health and improve eye health and vision.

It has also been shown to help improve diabetes symptoms by improving blood glucose levels as well as improving insulin sensitivity.

Now, research shows that Resveratrol could be effective at reducing oxidative stress in brain cells, which could decrease levels of amyloid plaques found in the brain, which is a factor related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Including resveratrol, or its analog trans-resveratrol, may have the ability to improve many different areas of health, including slowing the accumulation of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Jang, JH.  Surh, YJ.  Protective effect of resveratrol on β-amyloid-induced oxidative PC12 cell death.  Free radical Biology and Medicine.  2003. Vol. 34(8):pp. 1100-1110.