Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 11:19 AM
Resveratrol (RSL), which is found in red wine, may protect our lungs as we age. Aging lungs, which are characterized by decreasing lung function and airspace enlargement, are a significant risk factor for chronic human lung diseases.
Resveratrol belongs to a group of compounds called polyphenols that are believed to function like antioxidants. It is found in the skin of red grapes and also in blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries.
Breathing is an efficient process in young people, but natural aging of the lung occurs at a steady and irreversible rate, and is measured by a decline in lung function. This natural deterioration leads to a significantly reduced quality of life.
Although some available therapies can ease symptoms, age-related lung failure is generally irreversible and is accompanied by high rates of morbidity and mortality due to increased disease risk, including development of COPD, with accompanying emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Researchers at Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles used mice genetically modified to age early to investigate whether age-related degenerative changes in the lung could be slowed by inhaling resveratrol.
Mice received resveratrol (delivered through the airway by endotracheal tube) monthly for three months. One month following the final treatment, lung function was evaluated.
The researchers found that inhaled, prophylactic resveratrol treatments can slow the rate of lung function decline and other factors that occur in the early stages of lung aging. They concluded that administration of resveratrol directly to the lungs may be an effective intervention for lung aging, which is a significant risk factor for development of chronic lung disease.
The study is published in the journal Thorax.
Other research found that resveratrol fights a variety of lung diseases. Research published in Scientific Reports in 2016 found that resveratrol supplements help control the inflammation associated with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and middle ear infections (otitis media).