A little red wine with your oxygen, sir?

Sunday, November 16, 2003

November 17, 2003

YARMOUTH, Maine - The same ingredient in red wine that makes it healthy for your heart may also slow down the inflammatory process involved in COPD, according to a new study.

Resveratrol, a compound found in the skins of red fruits such as grapes, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers say resveratrol was so effective at reducing inflammatory markers in laboratory tests that the compound may eventually be developed into a new treatment for COPD. The results appear in the November issue of the journal Thorax.

The compound has shown potential in reducing cholesterol levels and improving cardiovascular health, helping to prevent some types of cancer and reducing the growth of skin melanomas. A previous study found that wine drinkers may have healthier lungs than other drinkers and nondrinkers, although in that case, people who primarily drank white fared even better than those who drank primarily red wine.

The findings should not be interpreted by smokers as an excuse to drink large amounts of red wine. Because the body had difficulty absorbing resveratrol into the blood stream, a person with COPD could never drink enough wine to improve his condition. Therefore, any treatment involving Resveratrol would more likely be inhaled rather than come in a pill, researchers said.



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