Benefits of 1000 bottles of red wine could come from pill

   Feb 5, 11:57 am

Washington, Feb 5 (ANI): Lovers of red wine were delighted when it was found to contain resveratrol - a compound supposed to improve health and maybe even lengthen life.

But studies have insisted that to see benefits, you would need to consume large amounts of the compound - more than is found in a bottle of wine.

Now a new study suggests we could get the equivalent of large resveratrol doses from pills we already have- a class of drugs that are being tested for use as treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

The findings suggest these drugs, known as known as phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, may provide a practical way to reap red wine's benefits than consuming buckets of the stuff (which would certainly carry health risks).

"[The study] reveals a novel utility for this class of drugs that hasn't been explored before," said study researcher Dr. Jay H. Chung, chief of the Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

However, the study was conducted in mice, and the results will need to be replicated in people.

In the study, scientists aimed to figure out exactly how resveratrol, a compound in red wine, acts inside cells. They discovered resveratrol works in a different manner than previously thought.

The study showed that resveratrol inhibits a protein known as phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4). That meant that resveratrol is a PDE4 inhibitor.

Knowing that drugs called PDE4 inhibitors werebeing tested to treat Alzheimer's, the researchers gave one such drug, called rolipram, to mice.

They found the drug produced all the health benefits of resveratrol, including preventing diet-induced obesity and improving control over blood sugar levels.

In studies on people, resveratrol has been shown to have anti-diabetes effects. But people would need to consume about 1,000 bottles of red wine a day in order to take in enough resveratrol to see true health benefits, Chung said.

PDE4 inhibitors could provide a realistic way for people to get the same benefits, the researchers said. In addition, PDE4 inhibitors may be less toxic than resveratrol itself, because the compound interacts with many proteins inside cells.

"By just targeting the key player [PDE4] you minimize the potential for adverse effects," Chung added.

Chung said he is planning to conduct a follow-up study that examines the effects of rolipram on obese people with insulin resistant.

The study has been published in the journal Cell. (ANI)

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