Fans of red wine have a new reason to raise a glass — resveratrol, found in red wine and grapes, has been shown to fight a variety of respiratory diseases, reports a new study.
Researchers at Georgia State University found that resveratrol can help control inflammation brought on by asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), and middle ear infections. Their findings were reported in Scientific Reports.
Dr. Jian-Dong Li, a senior author of the study, said: "We showed that an important component in red wine and also grapes called resveratrol can suppress inflammation. It has been shown that resveratrol can suppress inflammation, but how it regulates inflammation still remains largely unknown. We found that resveratrol suppresses a major bacterial pathogen causing otitis media and COPD."
Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and has been shown to protect the body against damage caused by inflammation — much like antioxidants do. Pulmonary diseases like COPD stem from bacterial infection (specifically, the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae or NTHi), which creates an inflammatory response. Runaway inflammation can branch into other diseases.
Researchers found that resveratrol controlled inflammation caused by NTHi. "We could use resveratrol to suppress inflammation or develop resveratrol derivatives that could be pharmacological agents to suppress inflammation," Li said.
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