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Red wine compound investigated for hypertension care

Thursday May 23rd, 2019

A compound produced by fruits in response to injury or attack could hold the key for to new treatments for hypertension, researchers report today.

The compound, resveratrol, is already widely consumed as a supplement and is found in red wine.

It has previously been investigated for its impact on a range of diseases including cancer and dementia.

Now, researchers from King’s College London, UK, report on their study that suggests resveratrol can help reduce high blood pressure. Findings are published in Circulation.

The team gave mice with high blood pressure 320mg per kg body weight of resveratrol for 15 days, and their blood pressure fell by about 20mmHg compared to mice on a normal diet.

In mechanism behind resveratrol’s effect appears to be causing blood vessels to relax, and hence blood pressure to drop, by oxidising a protein in the blood vessel wall. It was also seen to work the same way in tests on cells from human blood vessels.

Researcher Dr Joseph Burgoyne says no current blood pressure medications target this specific pathway, so their findings could lead to new therapies. He adds that although resveratrol was previously thought to be an antioxidant, it actually acts as an oxidant.

Resveratrol is present in red wine. The dose required to benefit blood pressure would be the equivalent of drinking 1,000 bottles per day, the researchers say.

Dr Burgoyne said: “We’re slowly realising that oxidants aren’t always the villain. Our research shows that a molecule once deemed an antioxidant exerts its beneficial effects through oxidation. We think that many other so-called antioxidants might also work in this way.

“Our work could lay the foundations for chemically altering resveratrol to improve its delivery to the body, or designing new, more potent drugs which use the same pathway."

Burgoyne, J. et al. Circulation 23 May 2019

Tags: Diet & Food | Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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