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Health Benefits of Red Wine May Aid Treatment of Inflammatory Diseases

Scientists have unraveled the mystery of how the red wine ingredient resveratrol is able to control inflammation. In this study, researchers administered an inflammatory agent to two groups of mice. One group was pretreated with resveratrol and the other group was not. The mice that were not pretreated with resveratrol experienced a strong inflammatory response, simulating disease in humans, while the group pretreated with resveratrol was protected from the inflammation. The scientists then examined the tissues of the mice to determine exactly how resveratrol was able to protect the mice from inflammation. They found that resveratrol used a one-two punch to stop inflammation in the mice by preventing the body from creating two different molecules known to trigger inflammation, sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D. This finding suggests that resveratrol may be harnessable as a treatment for inflammatory diseases and may also lead to entirely new resveratrol-based drugs that are even more effective. This work was published in the August issue of The FASEB Journal. "The therapeutic potential of red wine has been bottled up for thousands of years," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the journal, "and now that scientists have uncorked its secrets, they find that studies of how resveratrol works can lead to new treatments for life-threatening inflammation." [Press release] [FASEB abstract]