Red Wine and Marijuana against Alzheimer's?
Two new studies suggest that red wine and marijuana may help to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related memory loss.
An article first published at miller-mccune.com on November 21, 2008, points out that at the November, 2008 meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in Washington, D.C., Ohio State University researchers reported that THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, may lower inflammation in the brain, and even stimulate formation of new brain cells.
And in the Nov. 21, 2008, issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, neurologist David Teplow of the University of California, Los Angeles reported that naturally occurring components of red wine called polyphenols can block the formation of proteins that build the toxic plaques thought to destroy brain cells. In addition, these substances can reduce the toxicity of existing plaques. Both actions can slow memory loss.
Neither of these findings surprises me. That marijuana has medical efficacy against a variety of conditions is firmly established scientifically, and the health benefits of moderate red wine consumption are also becoming clearer with each passing year. As of November, 2008, 15 states had laws with provisions for medical marijuana on the books, and I hope more states enact enlightened policies in this regard. In the meantime, if you enjoy an occasional glass of red wine, continue to do so as part of an overall healthy diet.