A little red wine could help protect your brain from stroke damage, according to research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Researchers discovered that a compound found in red grape skins and seeds lessens the effect of a blood clot on the brain and aids recovery.
It could be so effective that the substance, known as resveratrol, reduces the long-term brain damage by as much as 40 per cent. Study suggests that resveratrol increases levels of an enzyme already known to shield nerve cells in the brain from damage.
The researchers gave healthy mice the substance resveratrol, which is found in seeds and skin of red grapes. Two hours after feeding mice a single modest dose of resveratrol the scientists induced a blood clot or ischemic stroke by essentially cutting off blood supply to the animals’ brains.
They found that the animals that had preventively ingested the resveratrol suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound.
In mice that lacked the enzyme, called heme oxygenise, the study found, resveratrol had no significant protective effect and their brain cells died after a stroke.
Red wine has received a lot of attention lately for its purported health benefits. Along with reducing stroke, moderate wine consumption has been linked to a lowered incidence of cardiovascular disease — the so-called French paradox.
“Alcohol may help to thin the blood and reduce the risk of clots forming. However, even small amounts of alcohol can increase your risk of haemorrhagic stroke, which is a bleed.
“We recommend that people drink alcohol in moderation. This is 2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 units a day for men.
“Making lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, taking regular exercise and quitting smoking can all help to reduce your risk of stroke.”
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