04 May 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Deficits in the cerebral microcirculation contribute to age-related cognitive decline. In a pilot study of postmenopausal women, we found that supplementation with a low dose of resveratrol, a phytoestrogen, for 14 weeks improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions.

We have since undertaken a larger, longer term study to confirm these benefits. Postmenopausal women aged 45-85 years (n = 129) were randomized to take placebo or 75 mg trans-resveratrol twice daily for 12 months. Effects on cognition, cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular responsiveness (CVR) and cardiometabolic markers (blood pressure, diabetes markers and fasting lipids) were assessed. Compared to placebo, resveratrol improved overall cognitive performance (P < 0.001) and attenuated the decline in CVR to cognitive stimuli (P = 0.038). The latter effect was associated with reduction of fasting blood glucose (r = -0.339, P = 0.023).

This long-term study confirms that regular consumption of resveratrol can enhance cognitive and cerebrovascular functions in postmenopausal women, with the potential to slow cognitive decline due to ageing and menopause.

04 May 2020 In Phenolic compounds

SIRT1 protects against several complex metabolic and ageing-related diseases (MARDs), and is therefore considered a polypill target to improve healthy ageing. Although dietary sirtuin-activating compounds (dSTACs) including resveratrol are promising drug candidates, their clinical application has been frustrated by an imprecise understanding of how their signals are transduced into increased healthspan.

Recent work indicates that SIRT1 and orthologous sirtuins coactivate the oestrogen receptor/ER and the worm steroid receptor DAF-12. Here they are further shown to ligand-independently transduce dSTACs signals through these receptors. While some dSTACs elicit ER subtype-selectivity in the presence of hormone, most synergize with 17beta-oestradiol and dafachronic acid respectively to increase ER and DAF-12 coactivation by the sirtuins.

These data suggest that dSTACs functionally mimic gonadal steroid hormones, enabling sirtuins to transduce the cognate signals through a conserved endocrine pathway. Interestingly, resveratrol non-monotonically modulates sirtuin signalling, suggesting that it may induce hormesis, i.e. "less is more".

Together, the findings suggest that dSTACs may be informational molecules that use exploitative mimicry to modulate sirtuin signalling through steroid receptors. Hence dSTACs' intrinsic oestrogenicity may underlie their proven ability to impart the health benefits of oestradiol, and also provides a mechanistic insight into how they extend healthspan or protect against MARDs.

24 October 2019 In Phenolic compounds

Following an ever-increasing tendency to underline the detrimental effects of alcoholic beverages on human health, wine consumption has also recorded a steady decrease. This is despite multiple beneficial effects on health demonstrated by research.

This review presents the latest information regarding the effects of wine on human health. While the potential detrimental effect of alcohol is not disregarded, but acknowledged where science clearly demonstrated a negative impact, potential beneficial effects are also presented and discussed.

Aside from alcohol, wine contains other compounds which have been shown to serve as antioxidants and anti-blood clotting agents or metabolic signaling molecules, with anti-proliferative, chemoprotective, immunomodulating actions.

Accordingly, light to moderate but not heavy wine consumption can complement other dietary effects on human health. Recent research suggests that wine-derived compounds belonging to the phenolic compound classes are important to human health and some of their putative actions are presented in this review.

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