RED WINE MAY HELP LUNGS
A recent study has found that red wine, already known to be good for the heart, may also be good for the lungs. The research, first published in the international journal ‘Thorax’ last October, has indicated that the key component of red wine, ‘Resveratol’, could reduce the level of harmful chemicals in diseased lungs.
The study concluded that ‘Resveratrol’, which is found naturally in red wine, could help to fight lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The world Health Organisation estimates Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) are responsible, worldwide, for some 3 million deaths annually. Unsurprisingly, smokers are thought to be ten times more likely to die from COPD than those that do not smoke.
During the study, lung fluid samples were taken from 15 smokers and 15 patients suffering from COPD. It was found that Resveratrol added to the samples dramatically reduced the production of interleukin 8, known to be responsible for inflammation of the lungs. The reduction was observed as 94% in the case of smokers and 88% for COPD patients.
Dr. John Harvey, from the British Thoracic Society, commented “It seems that drinking red wine in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet can reduce lung inflammation” However, there is probably not enough Resveratol, an antioxidant, in a glass of wine to be effective on lungs that are already diseased.
Based upon these findings, it is hoped that Resveratrol treatments, possibly via inhalants, can be developed to replace steroids that are in common use against this disease.
Frank Caddy, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Drinks Industry Group commented (NIDIG) “We welcome these findings, which once again supports the emerging view that alcohol in moderation can be good for you, but never over indulge and remember – Moderation – you know it makes sense!”
SOURCE: Culpitt SV et al. Inhibition by Red Wine Extract, Resveratrol, of Cytokine Release by Alveolar Macrophages in COPD. Thorax2003;58:942-6