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Resveratrol found in red wine offers new methods for treating depression

New research from scientists at the University of Buffalo has revealed a link between a plant compound found in red wine, called resveratrol, and anti-stress effects. 

Resveratrol can effectively block the expression of a stress-control enzyme in the brain, and therefore, the compound may be useful in future depression treatments.

This study is published in Neuropharmacology.

“Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” said co-lead author Ying Xu, MD, PhD, a research associate professor in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Resveratrol, found in the skins and seeds of grapes and other berries, was already known to have antidepressant effects, however its relationship to phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme influenced by stress hormone corticosterone, which regulates the body’s response to stress, was unknown. 

When too much corticosterone is released, a person can develop depression and other mental disorders. However, as this study shows, resveratrol inhibits the expression of PDE4, and therefore provides neuroprotective effects against corticosterone. 

Although prescribing red wine for depression is certainly not the answer, the researchers hope that their discovery can help scientists develop depression treatments from a new angle.

By Olivia Harvey, Staff Writer

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Artemidovna

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