Researchers see great therapeutic potential in the natural substance resveratrol, particularly in connection with prevention of the synthesis of inflammatory factors in cardiovascular diseases. Peter Pulkowski, Mainz University Medical Center

A natural substance present in red wine, resveratrol, protects the heart against cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting inflammatory factors, says research from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz.

It has been known for some time now that resveratrol protects the heart. In fact, consumption of wine by the French is what keeps them healthy despite the fatty food they consume.

However, the mechanism was not known.

The present work says that at least a part of the protective effect can be explained by the inflammation inhibiting action of resveratrol.

Recent research has shown that cardiovascular diseases are significantly promoted by inflammatory processes in the body.

Myocardial infarction and strokes frequently occur in association with chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

Thus resveratrol acts as major therapeutic agent in the treatment of inflammatory diseases that lead to damage of the cardiovascular system.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of human deaths all over the world with an estimated 17 million deaths globally.

The Mainz researchers discovered that the natural substance binds to the regulator protein KSRP and activates it. KSRP in turn reduces the stability of messenger RNA (mRNA) in connection with a number of inflammatory mediators and thus inhibits their synthesis.

The work is published in the scientific journal Nucleic Acids Research.