Researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, England, are examining resveratrol as a possible treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition usually caused by cigarette smoking. No effective treatment currently exists for this progressive disease.
Preliminary data indicate that resveratrol may work better than dexamethasone, a corticosteroid drug sometimes used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. When resveratrol was added to lung cells taken from people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, inflammatory factors were reduced 79-94%.1 While both resveratrol and dexamethasone inhibit inflammation that damages lung cells, only resveratrol blocks IL-8, a factor that is highly elevated in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Moreover, resveratrol, unlike dexamethasone, has no side effects. Researchers say the only drawback involving resveratrol is achieving and maintaining sufficient levels of this phyto-vitamin in the lungs.
Resveratrol is emerging as an important agent in the prevention and treatment of several serious conditions. Scientific studies have documented its anti-inflammatory effects, from reversing inflammatory damage to blood vessels to halting the spread of cancer.2