Study Identifies Likely Mechanism Underlying Resveratrol Activity

National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues have identified how resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical found in red wine and other plant products, may confer its health benefits. The authors present evidence that resveratrol does not directly activate sirtuin 1, a protein associated with aging. Rather, the authors found that resveratrol inhibits certain types of proteins known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs), enzymes that help regulate cell energy.

These findings may help settle the debate regarding resveratrol’s biochemistry and pave the way for resveratrol-based medicines. The chemical has received significant interest from pharmaceutical companies for its potential to combat diabetes, inflammation, and cancer. The study appears in the February 3rd issue of the journal Cell [1].

Resveratrol
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Polyphenols

Polyphenolic compounds (meaning the presence of more than one phenol group per molecule), often referred to as polyphenols, are plant-derived polyhydroxylated (meaning has more than one hydroxyl (OH), or alcohol, group attached) phytochemicals. Polyphenols are divided into three classes and include tannins, phenylpropanoids and flavonoids.