Components of red wines have been pegged as beneficial by quite a few studies and joining the list is a new study published in journal Scientific Reports which suggests that consumption of red wine and grapes could help reduce inflammatory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and middle ear infection (otitis media).
The component that helps reduce inflammatory diseases is resveratrol, which is found naturally in some plant foods such as grapes. Resveratrol has been found to be capable of alleviating inflammation in airway disease and control inflammation induced by a bacterial pathogen. The findings of the study indicate that the compound could have health benefits and be used to develop new, effective anti-inflammatory therapeutic agents.
Resveratrol belongs to a group of compounds called polyphenols that are thought to act like antioxidants and protect the body against damage. It has long been considered a therapeutic agent for various diseases, including inflammatory diseases. The latest study by Georgia State University 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.
In the study, resveratrol was effective against inflammation caused by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a major respiratory pathogen.
An appropriate amount of inflammation in the body is beneficial for defence against bacterial infection, but uncontrolled inflammation leads to inflammatory diseases.
Antibiotics are routinely used to treat NTHi infections, but the increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and the limited success of currently available pharmaceuticals used to manage the symptoms of these diseases present an urgent need for the development of non-antibiotic therapeutics.
This study found for the first time that resveratrol decreases NTHi-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators in airway epithelial cells and in the lungs of mice by enhancing MyD88 short, a negative regulator of inflammatory signalling pathways.
The researchers also found that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory effects after NTHi infection, which demonstrates its therapeutic potential.