Whatever your deficiencies may be, there’s one supplement that I highly recommend to become smarter. It’s the antioxidant resveratrol. This compound is naturally found in red wine and grape skins. Alcohol in general increases GABA levels, which make you feel more relaxed; and the consumption of red wine is linked to decreased heart disease.
Red wines also contain many polyphenols, which are the most abundant antioxidants in our food chain. They’re the ones responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors – specifically quercetin and catechins, which are linked to the prevention of heart attacks, cancer, and strokes.
Red wine is also a great source of the polyphenal resveratrol, which is considered to be in a class of polyphenols called sirtuin gene activators. These have been found to help directly repair genes and make them more resistant to change, thereby increasing human longevity by decreasing cellular death. These “super repair genes” are thought to slow down the aging process because they trick the body into a natural response similar to what occurs during calorie restriction.
When you restrict your calories, the body learns to modify its processes and becomes more efficient because it doesn’t have any resources to waste. A new chemical pathway called the sirtuin pathway is activated, which instructs the body to use less energy in all its functions. The result is that on the cellular level, the body produces less toxicity, and individual cells actually live longer.
Resveratrol is able to turn on the sirtuin pathway without calorie restriction, so that the brain and body can continue to operate at a rate that is best suited for optimal brain health (a vibrant brain needs more energy – not less). Better still, because they literally slow down aging, they reduce obesity and increase muscle mass; help protect the body from infection, inflammation, and cancer; and protect the heart and brain.
However, the amount of resveratrol found in red wine is relatively small. Because I can’t recommend more than two glasses, I would recommend a high quality resveratrol supplement (100 – 500 milligrams per day range) so that you have the benefits of red wine without the alcohol, or the calories.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.