People today worry more than ever about warding off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Especially after the abject failures of two big government-sponsored “Decades of the Brain” research projects.
Fortunately, science shows more than a dozen natural treatments can effectively prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In fact, I cover all of these treatments in detail in my Complete Alzheimer’s Cure protocol. (You can learn more about it or enroll today by clicking here.)
One of the more surprising Alzheimer’s discoveries is the science showing the brain-protective benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.
Of course, many proponents point to a single “magic bullet” ingredient in alcohol that confers all the health benefits. Most notably, resveratrol in wine. Resveratrol is a compound found in grape skins. And many people believe resveratrol is the reason why wine drinkers live longer. Indeed, of all the non-alcoholic components of wine, resveratrol has been the most studied. And many popular dietary supplements now contain it.
But there are two problems with this theory.
First, many sources of alcohol do not contain resveratrol. For instance, there is no resveratrol in beer or spirits. But research shows drinking these other alcoholic beverages in moderation still confers health benefits, including for the brain.
Second, a lot of the research on the benefits of resveratrol has actually been thoroughly debunked.
Nevertheless, there is a common component of wine that may deserve more attention…
Sniffing out a new way to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic recently uncovered (or sniffed out) an important, new healthy component to wine — its smell.
Researchers at the clinic’s Las Vegas branch found that master sommeliers or wine stewards (people who smell wines before serving them for a living) are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases than people not exposed to lots of flavorful aromas.
Of course, Las Vegas is a good place to find these wine stewards, having unaccountably become one of the fine dining capitals of the world. And in this case, what they found in Las Vegas did not stay in Las Vegas.
For the study, researchers compared the brain scans of 13 wine stewards to 13 people whose jobs don’t involve detecting aromas.
First, they found the areas connected to smell were thicker in the wine stewards’ brains. The areas of the brain responsible for memory were also thicker. Research shows these areas of the brain become sensitive to memory loss in later life.
Unfortunately, the researchers failed to mention why these findings ring true in their study. But these findings about our sense of smell are really just common sense, when you step out of the clinic and look at the big picture.
As I have often discussed, your sense of smell — which is also mostly responsible for your sense of taste — is the strongest sensation.
Indeed, the sense of smell wires directly into the brain itself — from the nose to the olfactory nerve, which travels right through the skull and into the frontal lobe of the brain.
Indeed, wine stewards must have a very strong sensory memory. If you have ever read descriptions of wines, stewards must detect the smells and flavors that reflect subtle traces of fruits, flowers, wood, other foods, and vegetation. Stewards must also interpret and detect musky, musty, and various “earth tones” in wines.
Of course, they must also remember the year, location, and history of the wines’ origins, which means they are frequently using their memories. (Thus heeding the “use it or lose it” warning often given in regards to brain health and cognitive function.)
What can you do?
Build your resistance to memory loss by smelling lots of different kinds of wine. You can also enjoy the smells of brandy, cognac, and IPA beers. Smelling a variety of things is the key. (And it puts new meaning on the importance of “stopping to smell the roses,” doesn’t it?)
But, once you’ve smelled the wine, make sure to drink it too — instead of spitting it out in those little bowls. Because remember, moderate alcohol consumption benefits memory too.
And while you’re at it, perhaps take some time to learn a little bit about the wine you drink. Many, many studies show the importance of stimulating the brain by life-long learning and challenging mental tasks to prevent memory loss and dementia.
So my advice today — besides remembering to smell that wine before drinking — is to stimulate your brain with learning.
A votre santé.
“Structural and Functional MRI Differences in Master Sommeliers: A Pilot Study on Expertise in the Brain,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (www.journal.frontiersin.org) 8/22/16