Resveratrol anti-inflammatory action confirmed

Nutra Ingredients

Resveratrol, the powerful antioxidant found in wine, and another polyphenol quercetin can act as novel anti-inflammatory agents, conclude UK researchers, although they question the value of offering resveratrol over the counter.

The team from Imperial College London, England, confirmed resveratrol’s broad anti-inflammatory action, and found potential for applications in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and possibly even arthritis.

However they note that clinical preparation and delivery remain issues.

Resveratrol from red wine has long been associated with the so-called ‘French Paradox’, reflecting the low incidence of heart disease among the French despite their relatively high-fat diet. Found in the skins of red fruits such as grapes and plums, the polyphenol is being marketed as a supplement by some companies although it is known to present bioavailability issues.

Lead researcher Louise Donnelly said the research group had "looked at the over-the-counter" versions of resveratrol and found that "it's not very pure and probably wouldn't be worth taking". The major bioavailability problem comes from the fact that the compound dissolves only in certain solvents, including alcohol, "and is cleared very rapidly in the liver," Donnelly said.

The Imperial team did confirm however that the compound “exhibited anti-inflammatory mediator release from human airway epithelial cells."

They write in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology that their study also excluded a number of potential mechanisms of action, including the oestrogen or glucocorticoid receptor. This means these agents might be beneficial in inflammatory diseases where glucocorticosteroids have proved to be ineffective, such as COPD, steroid-resistant asthma, and arthritis.

Drinking red wine may help to ward off lung cancer

Story from BBC NEWS
Published: 2004/10/27 23:10:09 GMT

A team from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain found each glass a day reduced the risk of lung cancer by 13% compared to non-drinkers.

While studies have already suggested red wine can help reduce the risk of heart disease, it was not thought to offer protection against lung cancer.

But Cancer Research UK cast doubt on the findings, warning excess drinking increases the risk of other cancers.

Professor Tim Key, of the charity's epidemiology unit at Oxford University, said there was "no solid evidence to support the suggestion that red wine might help to prevent cancer".

'Increased risk'

"There is, however, strong evidence that regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, and oesophagus.

"Furthermore, even moderate amounts of alcohol cause a small increase in the risk for breast cancer."

Researchers surveyed 132 people with lung cancer and 187 hospital patients without.

The group, mostly men in their 60s, were asked about their diet, smoking habits, occupation and the type and quantity of alcohol they drank each day, including whether they drank red, white or rose wine.

Both groups drank similar amounts of wine - about three-and-a-half glasses a day - but just over a third of lung cancer patients drank red wine compared to over half of the others.

Neither beer, spirits, or rose wine seemed to affect the development of cancer, the team concluded.

But the report, published in the Thorax journal, suggested there was a slight chance white wine may increase the risk of lung cancer - although the finding was not considered statistically significant because of the small number of white wine drinkers.

The results held true even after taking account of the amount of tobacco smoked, job type and total quantity of alcohol consumed.

Lung cancer kills 33,000 people each year in the UK - the largest number among cancers.

The report said the beneficial affect of red wine may be down to tannins, an antioxidant which works by protecting cells, and resveratrol, which has been shown to stifle tumour development and growth.


Report co-author Dr Alberto Ruano-Ravina, of the department of preventive medicine and public health at the university, said previous studies on wine and lung cancer had not differentiated between white and red.

But he said he would not recommend people drink more red wine.

"It would be extremely risky - and even dangerous - for recommendations to be drawn up endorsing a high consumption of red wine for the prevention of lung cancer in light of the well-known association between alcohol consumption and increased mortality."

Instead, he said the study should be used to fully identify the components of red wine which reduced risk.

Professor Andrew Peacock, of the British Thoracic Society, acknowledged the benefits of red wine but insisted the best way to ward off lung cancer was not to smoke.

"Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer so the best way to reduce your risk of developing the disease is to throw away the cigarettes."


Red Wine Consumption May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

By Will Boggs, MD
NEW YORK OCT 08, 2004 (Reuters Health)

Moderate consumption of red wine might lower the risk of prostate cancer in men who drink, according to a report in the October 15th online edition of International Journal of Cancer.

"The results of this study show that modest red wine consumption (four 4-oz. glasses/week) lowers the risk of prostate cancer by 50%, which is a fairly strong negative association," Dr. Janet L. Stanford from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington told Reuters Health. "However, this is the first study to fully evaluate the risk of prostate cancer in relation to red versus white wine consumption, so further study is needed to confirm these results."

Dr. Stanford and colleagues used data from a large population-based case-control study in King County, Washington, to investigate the relationship between alcohol intake and prostate cancer.

Men with prostate cancer were more likely to be black, to have had serum PSA screening for prostate cancer, and to have a first-degree family relative with prostate cancer, the authors report. Prostate cancer patients were also more likely to have higher daily calorie intake and more lifetime female sexual partners and to be current smokers.

Overall alcohol consumption showed no clear relationship with prostate cancer risk, the results indicate, but beer or liquor consumption appeared to increase the relative risk.

Each drink of wine per week was associated with a 2% decrease in prostate cancer risk, the researchers note, but this finding was of borderline statistical significance.

In contrast, there was a significant 6% reduction in prostate cancer risk for each glass of red wine drunk per week, the investigators report. Controlling for other alcohol consumption strengthened the association of red wine consumption with reduced prostate cancer risk. Consumption of white wine showed a weaker association with decreased prostate cancer risk.

The negative association between red wine consumption and prostate cancer risk was stronger in men with more aggressive disease, the report indicates, but there were no such associations for white wine consumption.

"The message is not to have men who don't consume alcohol begin drinking wine based on this one study," Dr. Stanford said. "However, men who already consume alcohol might consider making some of that a modest amount of red wine."

"If further study confirms our results, it looks like red wine may be beneficial for the heart and the prostate," Dr. Stanford said. "Only further research can address this possibility."

"We also are planning future studies designed to specifically test the hypothesis that red wine is associated with a reduced incidence of prostate cancer," she added.

* International Journal of Cancer 2004