Resveratrol (red wine phytochemical) exhibits proven anti-inflammatory effects
Lead researcher Louise Donnelly said "Resveratrol exhibited anti-inflammatory activity in all the systems we examined: laboratory cells lines as well as 'real' human airway epithelial cells," or HAEC.
Most importantly, resveratrol "inhibited anti-inflammatory mediator release from human airway epithelial cells."
And contrary to earlier conjecture, the Imperial College researchers showed that "resveratrol did not act as an estrogen or glucocorticosteroid," each of which have patient acceptance issues.
It is a polyphenolic compound found in the skins of such red fruits as grapes and plums, the red skin of peanuts, and even peanut butter.
The compound dissolves only in certain solvents, including alcohol, "and is cleared very rapidly in the liver," Donnelly said.
Especially for such respiratory diseases as COPD and asthma, developing an aerosol version for inhalation probably would be a better option," Donnelly said, noting that it would overcome one of the problems with steroids, which is noncompliance.
The current research aimed to confirm and quantify the effect of resveratrol and quercetin, a related plant-derived polyphenolic compound that often mimics its diverse activities, and to further study the molecular mechanisms involved.
While resveratrol "exhibited anti-inflammatory activity in all the systems we examined," the researchers said, "it appeared to be more effective, although less potent, than glucocorticoids.
Resveratrol also inhibited inflammatory mediator release from human airway epithelial cells (HAEC), inhibited iNOS and COX-2 (cyclooxygenase) gene transcription, together with IL-8 and GM-CSF expression in HAEC.
The inhibition of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) expression and activity in primary HAEC is significant, because steroids are ineffective in this system," the paper states.
Source and funding: The article, "Anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol in lung epithelial cells: molecular mechanisms," appears in the October issue of American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society.
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