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New health effetcts of wine polyphenols discovered

These compounds increases anti-tumor effect of rapamycin and, on rats, prevents aging-related impairment of vascular function and physical exercise capacity

Resveratrol helps rapamycin's efficacy
Charis Eng, MD, Ph.D., Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute of Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, led her team to study the effect of combining resveratrol, a chemopreventive drug found in many natural compounds, with rapamycin on breast cancer cells. The research demonstrates an additive effect between these two drugs on breast cancer cell signaling and growth.

"Rapamycin has been used in clinical trials as a cancer treatment. Unfortunately, after a while, the cancer cells develop resistance to rapamycin," Eng said. "Our findings show that resveratrol seems to mitigate rapamycin-induced drug resistance in breast cancers, at least in the laboratory. If these observations hold true in the clinic setting, then enjoying a glass of red wine or eating a bowl of boiled peanuts -- which has a higher resveratrol content than red wine -- before rapamycin treatment for cancer might be a prudent approach."

Despite the potential for tumor suppression, rapamycin's efficacy with respect to growth inhibition differs markedly among various breast cancer cell lines. The effect of resveratrol and rapamycin, alone and in combination, on cell growth of three human breast cancer cell lines was assessed. Rapamycin, resveratrol, and combinations of these agents inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. In all three cell lines tested, the presence of low concentrations of resveratrol and rapamycin was sufficient to induce 50 percent growth inhibition. Although relatively early, these observations may suggest resveratrol as a powerful integrative medicine adjunct to traditional chemotherapy.

Anti-aging effetcs on rats
Boston University Medical Center examined whether intake of red wine polyphenols, a rich source of natural antioxidants, prevents aging-related impairment of vascular function and physical exercise capacity.

The gradual decrease in endothelial function over time is a key factor in the development of diseases associated with ageing, especially cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many epidemiologic studies suggest protection against CVD from moderate intake of alcoholic beverages, especially those rich in antioxidants, such as red wine, which is high in polyphenols (RWPs).

This study examined whether intake of red wine polyphenols (RWPs), a rich source of natural antioxidants, prevents ageing-related impairment of vascular function and physical exercise capacity. Vascular reactivity from 12, 20 and 40 week-old rats was assessed in organ chambers. Rats received from week 16 to 40 either solvent, RWPs or the antioxidant and NADPH oxidase inhibitor, apocynin. RWPs and apocynin improved the endothelial dysfunction, normalized oxidative stress and the expression of the different proteins. RWPs also improved ageing-related decline in physical exercise. Thus, intake of RWPs protects against ageing-induced endothelial dysfunction and decline in physical performance. These effects likely involve the ability of RWPs to normalize oxidative stress and the expression of proteins involved in the formation of NO and the angiotensin II pathway.

International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research members thought that this was an excellent paper, as it begins to delve into mechanisms by which polyphenols improve health. A mechanism is addressed and results are consistent with the working hypothesis of a specific interaction between polyphenols and peculiar enzymes.

by Graziano Alderighi
07 march 2011, Technical Area > Grapevine & Wine