Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More on wine and the brain: surviving stroke

83. Wine drinkers are less likely to have the most common type of stroke, which is caused by blood clotting in the arteries to the brain as with heart attack. Since stroke is a major cause of disability and death, any benefit here is worth celebrating.
84. When the clot causing a stroke (or a heart attack) is dissolved, blood rushes in bringing oxygen to the cells that have been suffering for lack of it. Some of these cells will have already died, but many are capable of surviving if blood flow is restored soon enough. Paradoxically though, the toxins that have been building up are released with the restoration of blood flow, causing further damage. (This is know as ischemia-reperfusion injury.) Resveratrol and other wine polyphenols have been shown to dramatically improve cell survival after ischemia-reperfusion.

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