Red Wine, Grapes Can Help Suppress Inflammation, Study Claims

First Posted: Oct 03, 2016 03:11 AM EDT

Experts said that having red wine can actually boost your health. A new study conducted by researchers at the Georgia State University said that something in red wine and grapes can help control inflammation caused by diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and middle ear infection (otitis media).

According to the Indian Express, the findings were able to find a new technique showing how resveratrol, a compound found naturally in some plant foods such as grapes, can treat inflammation in diseases of the airway. The results claim that this compound may have several health benefits, and may also be used to create new and effective anti-inflammatory agents.

"We showed that an important component in red wine and also grapes called resveratrol can suppress inflammation," said Dr. Jian-Dong Li, a senior author of the study, director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. "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 by upregulating or increasing the production of a negative regulator called MyD88 short."

Researchers said that resveratrol is part of a group of compounds known as polyphenols that usually act like antioxidants and protect the body against damage. It has always been considered a therapeutic agent for different diseases, especially inflammatory diseases, reports Science Daily.

The study was able to show that resveratrol was effective in treating inflammation induced by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), which is primarily known as a major pathogen. Researchers said that a considerate amount of inflammation in the body can be helpful in the body's fight against bacterial infection, while uncontrolled inflammation can lead to inflammatory diseases. According to statistics, upper respiratory tract inflammatory diseases like asthma and COPD affect over half a billion people worldwide. These diseases are usually characterized by chronic inflammation which is usually worsened by respiratory pathogens such as NTHi.

Meanwhile, the study discovered for the first time that resveratrol actually reduces NTHi-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators in airway epithelial cells and in the lungs of mice by enhancing MyD88 short, which is a negative regulator of inflammatory signaling pathways. MyD88 short is known as a "brake pedal protein" because it can firmly control inflammation induced by this specific respiratory pathogen. It could be a dangerous target with a significant therapeutic potential to prevent inflammation related to chronic airway disease, Medical Xpress wrote.

It is also important to note that antibiotics are commonly used to cure NTHi-related infections. However, the growing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and the inadequate success of currently available drugs used to manage the symptoms of these diseases show an immediate need for non-antibiotic treatments to be developed.

"The findings help us to shed light on developing new therapeutic strategies by targeting or pharmacologically upregulating MyD88 short production," Li said. "We could use resveratrol to suppress inflammation or develop resveratrol derivatives that could be pharmacological agents to suppress inflammation using the same strategy," he added.

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