Red wine is good for the *lungs*...

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Russell.Beale, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Red wine is good for the lungs

    TARA WOMERSLEY HEALTH CORRESPONDENT

    http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=1188642003

    IT HAS already been lauded as lowering the risk of heart attacks, dementia and strokes.

    Now red-wine lovers have another excuse to enjoy their favourite tipple after new research
    found its properties could be used to treat patients suffering from serious lung disease.

    Scientists have isolated a substance called resveratrol, a natural plant oestrogen found in
    red wine that could have a dramatic influence on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary
    disease (COPD).

    Researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute, based at Imperial College London,
    discovered that this polyphenol antioxidant compound, found in the skins of red fruits
    like grapes, seemed to "dampen down" the inflammatory process in the disease, which
    damages lung tissue.

    The finding could have major implications in treating COPD, which is the fourth biggest killer
    in the UK.

    Smoking is the main cause of COPD, which is irreversible and progressive. It causes the lungs
    to deteriorate, making it difficult and eventually impossible to breathe.

    To assess the impact on the lungs, the Imperial researchers also ran experiments
    using smokers.

    The inflammatory process of COPD involves cells called macrophages, which produce
    powerful chemicals - interleukins - which stimulate the growth and activity of other
    immune-system cells. They also produce chemicals to prolong cell life and generate free
    radicals in the process.

    The research team isolated macrophages in lung-fluid samples of 15 smokers and 15
    COPD patients.

    In one experiment they artificially spurred the macrophages into action using an interleukin
    or cigarette smoke, then added resveratrol. In another test, resveratrol was added without any
    artificial stimulation.

    In the unstimulated samples, resveratrol almost completely wiped out the production of
    interleukin 8 by 94 per cent in smokers' macrophages and 88 per cent in the COPD group. The
    production of interleukin 8 was about five times as great in patients with COPD as it was
    in smokers.

    In the samples which were stimulated, resveratrol more than halved the amount of interleukin
    which was produced, and almost halved the amount of cell-life enhancer.

    The researchers concluded that the resveratrol or related compounds could be more effective
    than corticosteroids, which are usually used to treat COPD.

    Dr Louise Donnelly, one of the authors of the research, published in the journal Thorax, said:
    "This is very exciting. There is not really any drug that has an effect on the inflammatory
    process of COPD. Steroids have an effect on most lung diseases, such as asthma, but they do
    not really seem to work on the inflammatory process.

    "We looked at resveratrol as we were looking to find a novel
    anti-inflammatory drug and knew that it had lots of other health benefits.

    "What we intend to do now is find out how it works at a molecular level. We also need to find
    a way of concentrating resveratrol to enhance its effects, so if we cannot do this with a
    tablet it would be with an inhaler.

    "You cannot just drink red wine, as you would have to drink gallons of
    it. But if resveratrol proves to be effective as an anti-inflammatory drug it could have a lot of
    benefits, not just for people with COPD."

    Jan Buncle, of Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, welcomed the findings but called for
    more research.

    "COPD affects the lives of thousands of people in Scotland. Such chronic chest illness can be
    devastating, not just for the individual concerned but for the entire family," she said.

    "This project appears to offer some hope to COPD sufferers but we would like to see more
    research done in this area. In the long term, people should give up smoking rather than rely
    on drinking red wine to counteract the damage which cigarettes can cause."

    Last month, researchers in Greece claimed two glasses of red wine counteracted the damage to
    the arteries caused by one cigarette.

    Research has also shown that drinking a moderate amount of red wine can help to develop a kind
    of immunity against 200 viruses that trigger the common cold. Many scientists are trying to
    isolate the key ingredients in red wine, in the hope this could lead to new drugs to protect
    against heart disease, cancer and other illnesses.

    However, health campaigners have also stressed that smokers and others should not drink vast
    quantities of wine to counteract the effects of smoking or to prevent disease.

    Dr John Harvey, of the British Thoracic Society, said: "Red wine has been linked with
    protection against heart disease, and more research is needed to assess its role in
    alleviating symptoms of lung disease.

    "It seems that drinking red wine in moderation, as part of a healthy diet, can reduce lung
    inflammation.

    "There is also evidence that good nutrition, combined with exercise within a pulmonary
    rehabilitation programme, can improve the quality of life for people with chronic lung disease
    and reduce life-threatening attacks.

    "However, the most important way to actually stop lung damage is to give up smoking."

    It is estimated that 18 per cent of males and 14 per cent of females aged 40 to 68 years in
    the UK may have developed features of COPD, and smoking is a major risk factor.

    A separate Norwegian study published yesterday found that smoking can more than double a
    person's risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Red wine is good for the lungs

    TARA WOMERSLEY HEALTH CORRESPONDENT

    IT HAS already been lauded as lowering the risk of heart attacks, dementia and strokes.

    Now red-wine lovers have another excuse to enjoy their favourite tipple after new research
    found its properties could be used to treat patients suffering from serious lung disease.

    Scientists have isolated a substance called resveratrol, a natural plant oestrogen found in
    red wine that could have a dramatic influence on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary
    disease (COPD).

    Researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute, based at Imperial College London,
    discovered that this polyphenol antioxidant compound, found in the skins of red fruits
    like grapes, seemed to "dampen down" the inflammatory process in the disease, which
    damages lung tissue.

    The finding could have major implications in treating COPD, which is the fourth biggest killer
    in the UK.

    Smoking is the main cause of COPD, which is irreversible and progressive. It causes the lungs
    to deteriorate, making it difficult and eventually impossible to breathe.

    To assess the impact on the lungs, the Imperial researchers also ran experiments
    using smokers.

    The inflammatory process of COPD involves cells called macrophages, which produce
    powerful chemicals - interleukins - which stimulate the growth and activity of other
    immune-system cells. They also produce chemicals to prolong cell life and generate free
    radicals in the process.

    The research team isolated macrophages in lung-fluid samples of 15 smokers and 15
    COPD patients.

    In one experiment they artificially spurred the macrophages into action using an interleukin
    or cigarette smoke, then added resveratrol. In another test, resveratrol was added without any
    artificial stimulation.

    In the unstimulated samples, resveratrol almost completely wiped out the production of
    interleukin 8 by 94 per cent in smokers' macrophages and 88 per cent in the COPD group. The
    production of interleukin 8 was about five times as great in patients with COPD as it was
    in smokers.

    In the samples which were stimulated, resveratrol more than halved the amount of interleukin
    which was produced, and almost halved the amount of cell-life enhancer.

    The researchers concluded that the resveratrol or related compounds could be more effective
    than corticosteroids, which are usually used to treat COPD.

    Dr Louise Donnelly, one of the authors of the research, published in the journal Thorax, said:
    "This is very exciting. There is not really any drug that has an effect on the inflammatory
    process of COPD. Steroids have an effect on most lung diseases, such as asthma, but they do
    not really seem to work on the inflammatory process.

    "We looked at resveratrol as we were looking to find a novel
    anti-inflammatory drug and knew that it had lots of other health benefits.

    "What we intend to do now is find out how it works at a molecular level. We also need to find
    a way of concentrating resveratrol to enhance its effects, so if we cannot do this with a
    tablet it would be with an inhaler.

    "You cannot just drink red wine, as you would have to drink gallons of
    iu. But if resveratrol proves to be effective as an anti-inflammatory drug it could have a lot of
    benefits, not just for people with COPD."

    Jan Buncle, of Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, welcomed the findings but called for
    more research.

    "COPD affects the lives of thousands of people in Scotland. Such chronic chest illness can be
    devastating, not just for the individual concerned but for the entire family," she said.

    "This project appears to offer some hope to COPD sufferers but we would like to see more
    research done in this area. In the long term, people should give up smoking rather than rely
    on drinking red wine to counteract the damage which cigarettes can cause."

    Last month, researchers in Greece claimed two glasses of red wine counteracted the damage to
    the arteries caused by one cigarette.

    Research has also shown that drinking a moderate amount of red wine can help to develop a kind
    of immunity against 200 viruses that trigger the common cold. Many scientists are trying to
    isolate the key ingredients in red wine, in the hope this could lead to new drugs to protect
    against heart disease, cancer and other illnesses.

    However, health campaigners have also stressed that smokers and others should not drink vast
    quantities of wine to counteract the effects of smoking or to prevent disease.

    Dr John Harvey, of the British Thoracic Society, said: "Red wine has been linked with
    protection against heart disease, and more research is needed to assess its role in
    alleviating symptoms of lung disease.

    "It seems that drinking red wine in moderation, as part of a healthy diet, can reduce lung
    inflammation.

    "There is also evidence that good nutrition, combined with exercise within a pulmonary
    rehabilitation programme, can improve the quality of life for people with chronic lung disease
    and reduce life-threatening attacks.

    "However, the most important way to actually stop lung damage is to give up smoking."

    It is estimated that 18 per cent of males and 14 per cent of females aged 40 to 68 years in
    the UK may have developed features of COPD, and smoking is a major risk factor.

    A separate Norwegian study published yesterday found that smoking can more than double a
    person's risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

    --
    Russ.

    --------------------------------------
    A Bright is a person who has a naturalistic world-view. A Bright's world-view is free of
    supernatural and mystical elements. The ethics and actions of a Bright are based on a naturalistic
    worldview. http://www.the-brights.net/here_we_stand.htm
     
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  2. Hi Russle, I went to college back in the dark ages when sniffing things was in vogue. Brandy was
    popular, but one day some kid came in with the story that he had sniffed wine all night and it had
    cured his respiratory problem. I don't remember what he had, likely a cold or maybe a flu, or
    asthma. Antedotes don't mean much, but this one seemed to hit the nail on the head.

    Thomas
     
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