Resveratrol’s broad anti-inflammatory action identified as treatment for lung and other disorders A paper published in the October 2004 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (http://ajplung.physiology.org/) defined the potential mechanism of action of resveratrol in lung diseases as that of an anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, grapes and other red fruits, has been the subject of recent research which showed that the compound could help protect against some cancers, cardiovascular disease and other conditions.
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 Several lung diseases are collectively known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), including asthmatic bronchitis, chronic bronchitis (with normal airflow), chronic obstructive bronchitis, bullous disease, and emphysema. About 11% of the population of the United States has COPD, with the disease becoming increasingly common among older women. According to the Mayo Clinic, COPD kills 85,000 people a year in the United States.
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:
Coenzyme Q10: assists in cellular respiration and acts as an antioxidant
Alpha-lipoic acid: functions as a cofactor in energy production, acts as a free radical scavenger, and helps regenerate the effects of other antioxidants
Acetyl-L-carnitine: transports lipids into the mitochondria to be used in the production of cellular energy
Taurine: may improve breathlessness and increase cardiac blood flow
Magnesium: is a cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and relaxes bronchial muscles
Potassium: weakness and fatigue are symptoms of deficiency. Consult your physician for blood testing.
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.
This supplement should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Individual results are not guaranteed and results may vary.
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