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Resveratrol Stimulates Enzyme That Shields Brain Cells From Stroke Damage

April 22, 2010: 12:47 PM EST
In a new U.S. study, scientists have discovered that lab mice given resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes and wine, before an induced stroke suffered significantly less brain damage than other rats. The researchers said that resveratrol apparently increases levels of the enzyme heme oxygenase that protects neurons from damage. The brain cells of mice that lacked the enzyme were not protected and consequently died after the stroke. Despite the encouraging news, however, the researchers caution against the use of resveratrol supplements. No one knows whether they are helpful or harmful over the long term, they said. And no one knows what amount offers the necessary protection. In fact, no one really knows how much red wine, or which kind, offers the optimal cardiovascular benefit, so further research is required.
Sylvain Doré, Ph.D., Hean Zhuang, M.D., Herman Kwansa, Ph.D., Raymond C. Koehler, Ph. D., "Resveratrol protects against experimental stroke: Putative neuroprotective role of heme oxygenase", Experimental Neurology, April 22, 2010, © Elsevier B.V.
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