Molecules in red wine could be used in a breakthrough drug to lower blood pressure, scientists reveal (but your daily glass won't get you enough – you'll need 1,000 DAYS a day)
- Red wine molecule Resveratrol can be used to treat high blood pressure
- Made in the skin of grapes, it has long been said that it helps in the treatment of diseases
- And now experts from King & College London say they have discovered how it works
Molecules found in red wine could be used to create a groundbreaking treatment for high blood pressure, researchers said.
Resveratrol, a compound produced in the skin of grapes, has long been touted as an elixir capable of combating many diseases from cancer to dementia.
But scientists have always struggled to turn these findings into successful treatments.
This is largely because the precise mechanism that stimulates the effects of resveratrol was poorly understood. Now experts from King & # 39; s College London say they have determined how it works.
Resveratrol, a molecule produced in the skin of grapes and found in red wine, could be used to treat high blood pressure
Scientists at King's College London say they have determined how the molecule works, which can lead to future treatment of the condition alongside others, including cancer and dementia.
The researchers, funded by the British Heart Foundation, showed that resveratrol interacts with a protein called PKG1a in the blood vessel wall. Resveratrol adds oxygen to the protein, causing blood vessels to relax and expand, which quickly leads to a fall in blood pressure.
This is a huge change in the way scientists thought resveratrol worked. Many thought it was an & # 39; antioxidant & # 39; is – a substance that puts oxygen-harmful cells in the body.
But in fact it does the opposite, allowing oxygen in the blood stream to interact and oxidize the PKG1a protein. In the medical journal Circulation, the scientists describe how tests on cells taken from human blood vessels showed remarkable changes.
They also gave a dose of resveratrol to mice, resulting in a drop in blood pressure of 20 mmHg, a significant shift, in just 15 days.
The scientists said that none of the current blood pressure drugs work in this way, paving the way for a whole new class of drugs.
The molecule interacts with a protein in the wall of red blood vessels by adding a protein that relaxes and expands the vessel
But they emphasized that if a person were to use the same doses of resveratrol used in the study, they would have to drink around 1,000 bottles of red wine a day.
In its current form, resveratrol does not dissolve well and is broken down by the body before it can reach its target in the blood vessel wall. So future drug developments will depend on changing the chemical structure of resveratrol to make it more resistant to degradation, to ensure that more of the compound reaches the target cells.
Study leader Dr. Joseph Burgoyne of King & # 39; s said: & # 39; We are slowly realizing that oxidants are not always the bad guy.
& # 39; Our research shows that a molecule that was once considered an antioxidant exerts its beneficial effects through oxidation.
& # 39; We think many other so-called & # 39; antioxidants can also work in this way.
& # 39; Our work could lay the foundation for chemically changing resveratrol to improve delivery to the body, or for designing new, more powerful drugs that use the same path. In the future we could have a whole new class of blood pressure monitors. "Professor Metin Avkiran of the British Heart Foundation added:" Unfortunately, this is not the only thing that can open a bottle of merlot.
& # 39; To get the equivalent dose of resveratrol used here, you should drink an impossible amount of red wine.
& # 39; This study reveals the surprising way resveratrol works and opens up the possibility for new blood pressure medicines that work in a similar way.
& # 39; The findings bring us one step closer to tackling this & # 39; silent killer & # 39 ;, putting people at risk of a devastating stroke or heart attack.
& # 39; Although you can buy resveratrol supplements, the best way to keep your blood pressure under control is a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and taking medications prescribed by your doctor. & # 39;
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