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Resveratrol: a promising agent in promoting cardio-protection against coronary heart disease
The authors state that the inverse association between alcohol intake and coronary heart disease has been consistently reported in cross-culture, case–control, and cohort studies. Over the past couple of decades, however, many studies have explained promising health benefits associated with wine consumption. Some studies suggest that red wine is more cardioprotective than white wine, possibly due to the increased content of flavanoid antioxidants found in red wine. Several experimental studies support the evidence that these beneficial effects are due to resveratrol, the polyphenolic compound present in red wine. Many studies have provided evidence that resveratrol possesses antioxidant and anti-apoptotic effects apart from activation of longevity proteins (such as SIRT-1). This review discusses the potential effect of resveratrol and the mechanisms involved in resveratrol-mediated heart protection during myocardial infarction (heart attack), hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes rendering its beneficial effects during health and disease.

Professor R Curtis Ellison Comments: This is an extensive summary of research on resveratrol, one of many components in wine, that has been the topic of intensive current interest for its potential life-extending effects. In this review, the authors state that resveratrol has been demonstrated to have “a number of reported health benefits such as cardioprotective, anti-ageing, neuroprotective, anti-viral, life-prolonging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.” The authors describe a number of mechanisms for cardiovascular protection, concluding that “resveratrol holds great promise in the treatment of pathophysiological complications such as myocardial ischemia, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes by regulating several target molecules that protect the myocardium against ischemic injury as well as reduce ventricular remodeling.”

Much of the research quoted in this review article is from the laboratory of the authors. Nevertheless, an increasing number of other scientists have similarly shown health effects of resveratrol. Its potential anti-ageing effects are currently of great interest by many in the pharmaceutical industry who are extracting resveratrol from grape skins. What is not clear is the level of dose needed and the bio- availability (ie how your body absorbs) resveratrol and other antioxidants.

Source: Penumathsa SV, Maulik N. Resveratrol: a promising agent in promoting cardioprotection against coronary heart disease. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 2009;87:275–286.

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