Red wine compound may boost memory

Red wine compound may boost memory

Red wine compound may boost memory

A substance found in red wine and dark chocolate may improve memory, a new research has claimed.

Researchers found that participants in a study of overweight adults who took resveratrol supplements for six months had better short-term recall than their counterparts who took a placebo.

The participants who took the supplement also had more connections among brain areas involved in memory, and this parallelled improvements over the study period in their ability to break down sugar in the body, researchers found.

The study is the first to show a link between the red wine compound and cognition in overweight adults, said Veronica Witte, a neuroscientist at the Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany.

"From a clinical point of view, our findings suggest that regular, high-level intake of resveratrol in the elderly may convey protective effects on cognitive functions, a hypothesis that now needs to be evaluated in large-scale clinical trials," Witte told 'Live Science'.

In the new study, Witte and her colleagues tested 46 participants who were overweight, but otherwise healthy.

Half of the volunteers were randomly assigned to take 200 milligrammes of resveratrol daily for six months, while the other half received a placebo.

Before and after the six-month period, the participants took a memory test, gave a blood sample and had their brains scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging, which measures changes in blood flow as a proxy for brain activity.

Those who received resveratrol supplements remembered more words on a list that they had seen 30 minutes previously than those who received the placebo.

Moreover, the brain scans showed more communication within the hippocampus, a memory-related brain region, and the blood tests showed reduced levels of a blood sugar marker, in the people who took resveratrol.

The findings suggest that sugar metabolism may be linked to brain connectivity and memory, the researchers said.

The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.