It’s been known for some time that resveratrol, a chemical component of red wine, is a good agent against inflammation, but just how does resveratrol work? A recent study published in The FASEB Journal claims to have found the mechanism. Two groups of mice were administered an inflammatory agent; the group pretreated with resveratrol had no inflammatory symptoms, whereas the other group developed symptoms comparable to those found in human inflammatory diseases. Subsequent tissue examination showed that resveratrol prevented the formation of sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D, molecules that trigger inflammation. Says Alirio Melendez, senior lecturer at Glasgow Biomedical Research Center, “The ultimate goal of our study was to identify a potential novel therapy to help in the treatment of strong acute inflammatory diseases,” such as appendicitis, peritonitis, and systemic sepsis. The study raises the prospect of resveratrol-based supplements powerful enough not only to prevent but to reverse these life threatening conditions.
This health note is from January/February 2010, Vol. 19, No. 1.