A national clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, examining the effects of resveratrol on people with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease is currently recruiting participants. The Keck School of Medicine of USC is one of 26 academic centers across the country where patients can enroll to participate.
Resveratrol is found in red grapes, red grape juice, red wine, chocolate, tomatoes and peanuts. Pre-clinical studies suggested that resveratrol may prevent diabetes, act as a natural cancer fighter, ward off cardiovascular disease and prevent memory loss, but there has been no large study in humans.
The risk for these diseases increases with aging. Animal studies suggested that resveratrol may impede molecular mechanisms of aging. Human population studies suggested several health benefits from modest daily consumption of red wine, but the mechanisms of action are unknown.
“This is one of the first major studies to examine the health benefits of resveratrol in humans with doses that far exceed that in a glass of wine or chocolate truffle,” said Lon Schneider, director of the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and one of the study’s investigators. “We hope to find out whether daily doses of pure resveratrol affects memory and daily functioning among people with Alzheimer’s.”
The study also will examine whether resveratrol improves glucose and insulin metabolism. Resveratrol is not approved for Alzheimer’s by the Food and Drug Administration, and it is not known if resveratrol can change the course of the illness.
The clinical trial is a randomized and controlled double-blind study, considered the gold standard of clinical trials and meaning that not everyone in the study will receive resveratrol.
Half will receive a placebo (a sugar pill made to look like the resveratrol pill) to allow researchers to objectively test the benefits of resveratrol. Neither the participants nor the clinical staff will know if a participant is receiving a placebo or resveratrol until the end of the study.
Participants will also be asked to abstain from eating or drinking large quantities of food that contain resveratrol and from taking dietary supplements containing resveratrol, and they cannot be enrolled in another clinical trial during the study.
For more information about the clinical trial, visit adcs.org/Studies/RES.aspx. To participate in the study at USC, contact Nadine Diaz at (323) 442-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.