A component of red wine has been found to improve mobility for
older people, according to a new study.
Researchers from a university in Pittsburgh have specified
resveratrol, a natural-occurring compound that is also present in
red wine, could aid in improving mobility of older people and
subsequently prevent falls.
The group of researchers fed old and young lab mice a diet that
includes resveratrol for a period of 8 weeks while testing their
ability to walk around a balance beam. They then took note of the
number of times each mouse made a misstep. Initially, the older
mice found it difficult to traverse the obstacle but on the 4th
week, they made significantly fewer missteps and seemed to
perform as well as the young ones.
"Our study suggests a natural compound like resveratrol, which
can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet
itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies
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," said Dr. Jane Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh has presented the results at a conference of American
Chemical Society held in Philadelphia, noting that motor-related
problems like difficulty in walking or balancing are the leading
causes of injury among people over the age of 65.
Several medications could aid in alleviating some of the
motor-related effects of Parkinson's disease, though there is
currently no such treatment for improving walking and balance in
But despite the promising results, they are warning anyone who
would use this as an excuse to drink red wine indiscriminately:
resveratrol is something that is poorly absorbed by the human
body. Actually, a 150lb individual needs to ingest 700 (4oz)
glasses of red wine per day to absorb enough of the compound and
achieve any beneficial effect.
They are now actively exploring similar compounds that could
yield the same effects and will be more easily absorbed by the
human body. Also, they are trying to figure out just how much
resveratrol goes to the brain when ingested.
Previous studies have concluded that resveratrol, typically found
in dark-skinned fruits and red wine, has the potential in
reducing cholesterol, risk of cancer and heart disease.http://recentnews.springhillmedgroup.com/