Red wine compound prevent life-threatening falls

Red wine compound resveratrol could help older people to fight motor deficiencies that lead to mobility problems and increased risks of falls.

According to new research in mice, drinking the red wine compound could help to improve mobility and prevent life-threatening falls among older people.

Dr Jane Cavanaugh, of Duquesne University, USA, said that the study findings – if it’s turns out to be true in humans – could lead to the development of natural dietary products that boost the mobility and productivity of elderly people around the globe.

Dr Cavanaugh said: “Our study suggests that a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies that are seen in our aging population. And that would, therefore, increase an aging person’s quality of life and decrease their risk of hospitalisation due to slips and falls”.

Believed to be the first of its kind, the recent study fed young and old laboratory mice a diet containing resveratrol for eight weeks.

The team periodically tested the rodents’ ability to navigate a steel mesh balance beam, counting the number of times that each mouse took a misstep.

Initially, the older mice had more difficulty manoeuvring on the obstacle, she revealed, but by the fourth week the older mice made far fewer missteps and were on par with the young mice.

In further investigations, Cavanagh’s team found clues to how resveratrol might have such effects.

She explained that laboratory experiments expose neural cells to the dopamine, which can induce cell death if given in large amounts. However, neurons treated with resveratrol before being exposed to dopamine survive.

On closer examination, the researchers found that resveratrol lessened the damage done by oxygen free radicals generated by the breakdown of the dopamine, and activated protein signalling pathways that appeared to promote cell survival.

Despite the advantages in the results, there are some setbacks as the compound is poorly absorbed by the body.

Cavanaugh calculated that a 15-pound person would have to drink almost 700 glasses of red wine a day to absorb enough resveratrol to get see beneficial effects.


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