- Researchers have made a significant discovery about resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and a variety of plant products, and it’s potential health benefits.
- The study indicates that resveratrol could potentially be used as a therapy for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
- Resveratrol works by inhibiting proteins known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which are crucial in cellular energy regulation.
- The study identified PDE4 in skeletal muscle as the primary target for resveratrol’s health benefits.
- While the current findings are promising, additional research is needed before the development of resveratrol-based drugs can proceed.
Scientists in the United States have made a significant discovery, unraveling the mechanism through which resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and a variety of plant products, provides health benefits.
The Potential Therapeutic Role of Resveratrol
In the view of the researchers, their study, utilizing mice, creates an opportunity to settle lingering controversy regarding the biochemistry of resveratrol. More importantly, these findings could facilitate the process of creating medicines based on resveratrol.
“The study shows that resveratrol could be used as a potential therapy for a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease,” revealed Dr. Jay Chung, who led the study and also serves as the chief of the Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He added that “To transform resveratrol into a safe and effective medication, it’s essential that we fully understand its specific targets within cells.”
Understanding How Resveratrol Works
The study demonstrated that resveratrol inhibits proteins known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs), which play a crucial role in cellular energy regulation.
Contrary to the findings of some previous studies that named sirtuin 1 as resveratrol’s primary target, the authors of this study had their doubts. This arose after their discovery that the action of resveratrol required another protein, AMPK. Such interaction wouldn’t be necessary if resveratrol interacted directly with sirtuin 1.
The researchers undertook an analysis of metabolic activity in cells that had been treated with resveratrol and were able to identify PDE4 in skeletal muscle as the principal target for resveratrol’s health benefits.
Subsequent tests with mice confirmed that resveratrol attaches to and inhibits PDE proteins.
The details of the study were published in the February 3 issue of the esteemed scientific journal, Cell.
Proceeding Cautiously in the Development of Resveratrol-Based Drugs
While it’s crucial to note that findings from animal research may not always apply to humans, the current results still constitute an essential part of progress. It will necessitate continuing research before the development of resveratrol-based drugs can proceed.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has also explored the possible connection between red wine and cancer prevention. Read more here.