Life Extension Update
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Resveratrol’s broad anti-inflammatory action identified as treatment for lung and other disorders
Louise Donnelly and colleagues at Imperial College in London sought to determine the molecular mechanisms involved in the effects of resveratrol and quercetin, a structurally related polyphenol that has recently been shown to provide some similar benefits, on lung epithelial cells. They found that resveratrol had a broad anti-inflammatory action and was more effective than glucocorticoids, the current drug class of choice for treating inflammatory airway diseases. Quercetin demonstrated similar effects. Dr Donnelly commented, “Resveratrol exhibited anti-inflammatory activity in all the systems we examined: laboratory cells lines as well as 'real' human airway epithelial cells.”
Earlier research suggested that resveratrol’s mechanism of action could be that of an estrogen or corticosteroid, but Dr Donnelly and colleagues found no evidence of either of these mechanisms, allaying the possible concerns of some individuals.
Donnelly’s team stressed the need for an aerosol version of resveratrol that could be used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
The authors note, "Our study is novel as it examines the anti-inflammatory mechanism(s) of resveratrol in cells relevant to human disease and explores all of the proposed mechanisms in a single study." They conclude that “plant derived polyphenolic compounds can act as novel anti-inflammatory agents,” and that “these agents might be beneficial in inflammatory diseases where glucocorticosteroids have proved to be ineffective, such as COPD, steroid-resistant asthma, and arthritis. These compounds may provide candidate molecules for the development of novel anti-inflammatory therapies.”
Emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Emphysema is a pulmonary deficiency usually caused by years of free-radical damage that results in degenerative changes in the air sacs of the lung. Free radicals and changes of antioxidant enzymes are also thought to play a role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Pulmonary oxygen radical injury and the protective role of antioxidant enzymes in COPD were measured in one study. The results suggest that the increased free-radical toxicity and decreased glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities in red blood cells are involved in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Misso et al. 1996; Tekin et al. 2000).
In another study, an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in smokers and in patients with airway diseases such as asthma was proposed. Antioxidants were measured in a group of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The results showed that smoking, acute COPD attacks, and asthma are associated with a marked oxidant/antioxidant imbalance in the blood, associated with evidence of increased oxidative stress (Rahman et al. 1996).
In more recent research on the effects of smoking, it was concluded that antioxidants that have good bioavailability or molecules that have antioxidant enzyme activity are therapies that not only protect against the direct injurious effects of oxidants, but also may fundamentally alter the inflammatory events that have a central role in the pathogenesis of COPD (MacNee 2001).
To restore energy production to damaged cells in the lungs and relax bronchial airways, the following nutrients are suggested:
Findings from published scientific literature indicates that resveratrol may be the most effective plant extract for maintaining optimal health.
The resveratrol used in this product is extracted from organic grapes and is in a natural matrix that includes many other polyphenols. Quercetin is added to enhance the bioavailability of the resveratrol.
Quercetin is the active flavonol part of rutin. It also is used as a capillary protectant and is a more powerful antioxidant than rutin.
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