Can red wine help you breathe easier?
You’ve probably heard that a glass of red wine can have some health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart disease. Now, a new study suggests that a compound called resveratrol, found in red wine and grapes, could also be used to suppress inflammation.
Upper respiratory inflammatory diseases, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and middle ear infections are common throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17.7 million U.S. adults suffer from asthma, and 8.7 million have been diagnosed with COPD.
“These diseases can be very serious, and COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States,” says Dr. Clifton Clarke, a pulmonologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “An important characteristic of these diseases is inflammation, and new research exploring ways to control that inflammation is critical.”
According to the study, resveratrol may suppress inflammation and can help reduce it even after infection.
While Dr. Clarke is optimistic about the new research, he warns against using red wine as a means to stay healthy, pointing out that drinking in moderation is key.
“Red wine may have some health benefits, but I don’t suggest drinking it to improve your health,” says Dr. Clarke. “A glass every now and then or with dinner is fine, but drinking too much can result in serious damage to your health.”
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