August 02, 2009
Resveratrol Suppresses Inflammation Response In Mice

Chronic inflammation accelerates aging. At least in some species resveratrol extends life. Whether resveratrol will extend life in the average human is still an open question (for which I'd sure like to have an answer). Some researchers in Scotland and Singapore find that resveratrol blocks an inflammation response in mice.

Scientists from Scotland and Singapore have unraveled a mystery that has perplexed scientists since red wine was first discovered to have health benefits: how does resveratrol control inflammation? New research published in the August 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal (, not only explains resveratrol's one-two punch on inflammation, but also show how it—or a derivative—can be used to treat potentially deadly inflammatory disease, such as appendicitis, peritonitis, and systemic sepsis.

"Strong acute inflammatory diseases such as sepsis are very difficult to treat and many die every day due to lack of treatment," said Alirio Melendez, senior lecturer on the faculty of medicine at Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre in Scotland and one of the researchers involved in the work. "Moreover, many survivors of sepsis develop a very low quality of life due to the damage that inflammation causes to several internal organs. The ultimate goal of our study was to identify a potential novel therapy to help in the treatment of strong acute inflammatory diseases."

Of course, inflammation response often serves a useful purpose - or else we wouldn't have inflammation response in the first place. So a general suppression of inflammation isn't guaranteed to benefit us.

Sounds like resveratrol down-regulates synthesis of sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D. These are both enzymes involved in inflammation response.

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.

My own suspicion is that resveratrol will extend the lives of some people but have neutral or harmful effects on others. Why? Some people have too much inflammation and others do not. Now, as we age genes for inflammation generally increase in activity. Compounds that reduce inflammation might become more valuable to consume as we get older. So perhaps the odds shift in favor of getting a benefit from resveratrol as we get older. You can also follow the Mediterranean diet to lower inflammation markers.

A recent report found that centrally acting ACE inhibitors (a class blood pressure medications) reduced inflammation in the brain and reduce the incidence of dementia in old folks. Since I do not want to lower my blood pressure I'd like to some other ways to get the same brain aging benefits. Maybe resveratrol is the ticket?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 August 02 11:23 PM  Aging Diet Resveratrol

Allergy sufferer said at August 3, 2009 12:48 PM:

As an allergy sufferer, I wonder what effect this might have on me outside of reducing the swelling of mucus membranes. Short of whatever shock to the immune system not-quite-mild allergies might benefit from, this sounds like a promising treatment. I've been treated with steriods a couple of times (once for severe poison ivy -- I pulled it up by the roots accidentally and it basically sprayed my face and hands -- and the first topical prescription caused an even worse reaction), and I wonder if this would be a safer alternative.

As an idle speculation, what happens to a mosquito bite or light scrape when the inflammation response is suppressed? I'd assume it could slow the proper, immediate immune response, but I'm just guessing.

angelina jacob said at August 3, 2009 8:28 PM:

Resveratrol in red wine is known for controlling inflammation and promoting health. Until now scientists did not understand how the ingredient in red wine works.

Angelina Jacob
Honda Accord

averros said at August 4, 2009 1:47 PM:

Resveratrol is not only about inflammation; it also up-regulates activity of SIRT1 and other things responsible for DNA repair, and reduces oxydative damage to cells due to superoxide. The question is how bioavailable it is if taken in the supplement form.

Kudzu Bob said at August 4, 2009 3:50 PM:

"The question is how bioavailable it is if taken in the supplement form."

Wasn't it administered to those Harvard rats in their food? If so, that tends to suggest that taking resveratrol with meals, as I do (along with a slew of other supplements), would be a reasonably good way to proceed based on our present scanty knowledge.

Say, does anybody know if resveratrol is fat-soluble?

Francis (Ottawa) said at August 18, 2009 3:42 PM:

The highest absorption of resveratrol is buccal. I empty capsules of it into my mouth and swish with a mouthful of water for a couple of minutes before swallowing. Resveratrol is alcohol soluble.

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