Resveratrol 'could treat inflammatory diseases'

  • Tuesday 11 August 2009

An antioxidant found in red wine could treat life-threatening inflammations like appendicitis, a new study claims.

Recently published studies by scientists at the University of Glasgow indicate how resveratrol could work as effective therapy for dangerous inflammations such as appendicitis, peritonitis and systemic sepsis.

Findings from the university’s infection and immunology division, along with collaborators in Singapore, indicate that resveratrol could be used to treat such deadly inflammatory diseases, and may also lead to new resveratrol-based drugs.

In the study, researchers administered an inflammatory agent to two groups of mice, one of which was pretreated with resveratrol and the other not.

The mice that were not pretreated with resveratrol experienced a strong inflammatory response, while the group pretreated with resveratrol was protected from the inflammation.

The scientists found that resveratrol stopped inflammation in the mice by preventing the body from creating two different molecules known to trigger inflammation.

‘The therapeutic potential of red wine has been bottled up for thousands of years,' said Gerald Weissmann MD, editor-in-chief of the journal of the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology, which published the research.

‘Now that scientists have uncorked its secrets, they find that studies of how resveratrol works can lead to new treatments for life-threatening inflammation.'

Some strongly question the impact of resveratrol in wine, however.

‘The whole resveratrol-wine-health relationship is totally incorrect,’ said Dr. Roger Corder, professor at the William Harvey Research Institute at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Corder, also the author of The Wine Diet, which highlights wine’s cardiovascular benefits, told decanter.com that ‘many wines, particularly from thick-skinned grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, have virtually no resveratrol.’

‘Based on the lack of evidence that resveratrol in the amounts found in wine has any actions in experimental studies, it is not credible to ascribe the health benefits of wine consumption to resveratrol,’ he explained.

‘Wine consumers are being misled by reports that suggest resveratrol is relevant,’ he added. ‘Just because various new agencies swallow this rubbish and regurgitate it without any sense of critical appraisal of the realities does not mean it is correct.’

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