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Research Summary

Cabernet Sauvignon Reduces Brain Amyloid Deposits in Mice

According to observational data, moderate wine consumption may reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To examine this possibility, researchers assessed cognitive function and neuropathology inTg2576 mice, which are bred to model human AD, after the mice randomly received Cabernet Sauvignon, ethanol, or only water each day for 7 months. Mice received the Cabernet Sauvignon or ethanol in their drinking water and consumed the human equivalent of approximately 1–2 drinks per day.

At 7 months, food and fluid intake and body weight did not differ among the Tg2576 mice. Compared with Tg2576 mice who received ethanol or water, Tg2576 mice who received Cabernet Sauvignon had

  • better cognitive function (measured by a maze behavioral test); fewer indicators of AD-type neuropathology (i.e., lower concentration of amyloid beta–protein [Aβ] peptides and less amyloid plaque burden);
  • greater non-amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein, which helps prevent Aβ peptide generation.*

Results did not significantly differ among Tg2576 mice who received ethanol or water.


This study suggests that the polyphenols in Cabernet Sauvignon, but not ethanol, attenuated AD-type cognitive deterioration by modulating AD-amyloid neuropathology in the brains of mice bred to model the disease in humans. These results, along with findings from some epidemiological studies, support the premise that moderate wine consumption may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

R. Curtis Ellison, MD
*From analyses that compared only the Cabernet Sauvignon and ethanol groups


Wang J, Ho L, Zhao Z, et al. Moderate consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon attenuates Aβ neuropathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. FASEB J. 2006;20(13):2313–2320.