Molecular Secrets Behind Health Benefits of Red Wine Revealed by Scientists

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 07, 2014

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Red wine has been used since ancient times as far back as 8000 years back. It is hastily earning recognition for bestowing health benefits if taken in moderation i.e. a glass or two a day. Found in grapes, blueberries, cranberries, mulberries, peanuts and pistachios, resveratrol is associated with beneficial health effects in aging, inflammation and metabolism.

benefits of red wineIt has been much in the news as the component of red wine associated with reducing “bad cholesterol,” heart disease and some types of cancer.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have now found that resveratrol controls the body’s inflammatory response as a binding partner with the estrogen receptor without stimulating estrogenic cell proliferation, which is good news for its possible use as a model for drug design.

It does so with the help of one of the molecular pathways that it uses to achieve its beneficial action.

“Estrogen has beneficial effects on conditions like diabetes and obesity but may increase cancer risk,” said Kendall Nettles, a TSRI associate professor who led the study. “What hasn’t been well understood until now is that you can achieve those same beneficial effects with something like resveratrol.”

The problem with resveratrol, Nettles said, is that it really doesn’t work very efficiently in the body. “Now that we understand that we can do this through the estrogen receptor, there might compounds other than resveratrol out there that can do the same thing—only better,” he said.

“Our findings should lead scientists to reconsider the estrogen receptor as a main target of resveratrol—and any analogues,” said Jerome C. Nwachukwu, the first author of the study and a research associates in the Nettles laboratory. “It has gotten swept under the rug.”

In the new study, Nettles, Jerome C. Nwachukwu, the first author of the study and a research associates in the Nettles laboratory, and their colleagues found that resveratrol is an effective inhibitor of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory protein that is part of the immune system (although IL-6 can be anti-inflammatory during exercise). High levels of IL-6 are also associated with poor breast cancer patient survival.

According to the study, resveratrol regulates IL-6 without stimulating cell proliferation by altering a number of co-regulators of the estrogen receptor.

The study has been published in the online journal eLife.

Health Benefits of Red Wine

Drink Red wine in moderation to improve:

  • Heart Function: Resveratrol from the red grapes is suggested to decrease risky cardiovascular disease.
  • Brain Health: Resveratrol also protect our body against Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Better Sleep because of melatonin in a few varieties of red wine
  • Resveratrol has been found to enhance in some studies
  • Cancers as lung, prostrate and breast have been found to have decreased risk on moderate consumption of red wine
  • Red wine is suggested to neutralize the harmful effects of smoking
  • Red Wine as accompaniment to a meal has been suggested to lower blood pressure in those with high BP
  • Resveratrol has been shown to lower the low density lipids
  • Hypertension: Two glasses of red wine taken together with the meal may lower post-meal blood pressure in hypertensive persons.
  • History: Red wine can impair judgment and the decision-making process.


Disadvantages of Consuming Red Wine in Excess


  • Weight Gain and Obesity which occurs because of increased calorie intake
  • Heart Disease because of cardiomyopathy induced by excessive alcohol
  • Enhanced Blood Pressure which can lead to stroke
  • Too much alcohol is linked to lower fertility
  • Enhanced risks of cancers of mouth or breast are mentioned as possibilities.
  • Regularly drinking two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples the risk of developing mouth cancer.
  • Excessive drinking can also have a detrimental effect on the human body both male and female--when it comes to reproduction.


Image Source: Getty Images

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