(NaturalNews) Supplementation grape seed extract can prevent the buildup of brain plaques that are associated with cell death and the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Alzheimer's Association, Constellation Brands' polyphenolics division, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Japan Human Science Foundation, Mount Sinai Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the University of California-Los Angeles, and published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Researchers orally administered a new grape seed extract (MegaNatural-AZ, Polyphenolics) to rats that are genetically predisposed to develop beta-amyloid plaques in their brains. These plaques are known to increase the risk of cell damage and death, leading to cognitive decline and a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Rats that had been given the grape seed extract underwent significantly less cognitive decline and had less in the way of beta-amyloid deposits.
"Our study suggests that grape seed-derived polyphenolics may be useful agents to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease," the researchers wrote.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 13 million people across the world.
Lead researcher Giulio Pansinetti of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine speculated that grape seed extract might even stem cognitive decline in those who have not developed Alzheimer's disease.
The recent study is part of a growing trend to research the connection between diet and brain health. The largest food company in the world, Nestle, recently signed an agreement to jointly research the effects of nutrition on cognitive function with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Nestle has pledged to contribute as much as CHF 5 million ($4.8 million) a year for the next five years to the research institute. After four years, the company will review the project with the option of extending the agreement.