The subject of extensive studies across the world, Resveratrol is proving to be a major talking point in the scientific community. And as evidence comes to light of the continuing beneficial effects of this compound, a further study by the University of Northumbria in the UK has confirmed what many scientists already believe to be the case – that Resveratrol could have a significant impact on the cognitive processes of the human brain.
The double-blind, peer-reviewed study was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and concludes that a relatively small dose of the compound can modulate cerebral blood flow variables and actually increase blood flow during task performance.
In the study, 22 healthy adults received either a placebo or two doses (measured at 250mg and 500mg) of trans-Resveratrol in counterbalanced order on separate days. After a 45-minute resting absorption period, they then carried out a selection of cognitive tasks designed to activate the frontal cortex of the brain for 36 minutes. The levels of cerebral blood flow and hemodynamics were measured and indexed, calculating the concentration changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated haemoglobin present in the frontal cortex throughout the post-treatment period through the use of near-infrared spectroscopy.
The results were remarkable. The study showed that subjects taking the trans-Resveratrol supplement demonstrated a marked increase in cerebral blood flow during the task performances.
The increase in deoxyhaemoglobin after both doses suggested that there was substantially enhanced oxygen extraction throughout the process. While cognitive function was not affected, the results do open the doors for further investigation as to the longer term effects of continued use of Resveratrol and its direct affect on the blood flow to the frontal cortex of the brain – the area most used for task performance, hand/eye co-ordination and cognitive processing.
The study concluded that Resveratrol’s vasodilation effect seems to be activated by the demands of the brain for increased blood flow during cognitive tasks, suggesting that the effects can be ‘turned on and off’ as and when needed when the brain is called upon to perform more demanding tasks.
The supplement’s ability to activate sirtuins was discovered by Dr David Sinclair at Harvard three years ago. Since then, Resveratrol has been the subject of repeated studies by institutes all over the world. The research into Resveratrol’s influence on the blood flow to the frontal cortex of the brain is particularly interesting.
But what is really grabbing the scientific community’s attention is how the supplement appears to be able to respond to increased demand from the brain within a relatively short space of time from ingestion, and how rapidly the increase in blood flow seems to happen as a response. Although more study needs to be carried out, it appears that Resveratrol could have a direct influence on one of the key areas of brain performance.
The University of Northumbria study has opened up the possibility that supplements such as Resveratrol could possibly be used to increase cognitive function through an acceleration of the blood flow to the brain, although more research needs to be done to confirm if this is the case.
Resveratrol has primarily been studied for its anti-ageing properties, but this new avenue of exploration is revealing that the compound could be capable of much more than just working as an anti-ageing treatment or as an antioxidant. Resveratrol has no known toxic effects on the human body, and if it is shown to improve cognitive function, then the possibilities for its use in medical treatment for diseases such as dementia could be considerable.
In the meantime, its demonstrated ability to modulate various signalling pathways and metabolic processes with positive health and disease preventative effects makes this an extraordinary compound capable of much more than just its potential neuroprotective or therapeutic properties.
The Northumbria Study: http://www.biotivia.com/company/news/Bioforte-Increased-Cere... n-New-Human-Clinical-Trial.html
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