Recently Ladders reported on new data that emerged in Frontiers in Physiology regarding the cosmic power of resveratrol, a compound present in red wine. According to the study, titled, A Moderate Daily Dose of Resveratrol Mitigates Muscle Deconditioning in a Martian Gravity Analog, the anti-oxidant preserves muscle mass and strength to help astronauts compensate for the less than hospitable gravitational conditions on the iron oxide giant.
“Dietary strategies could be key,” said Dr. Marie Mortreux, a lead author of the study. “Especially since astronauts traveling to Mars won’t have access to the type of exercise machines deployed on the ISS.”
Wine has been the stoutest line of defense against teetotaling campaigns for the longest time. There’s a notable lack of charitable imagery allied with bibulous grouse blossom’ having beer guzzlers, but wine enjoys all the associations of a good time as well as the distinction as the thinking man’s poison: beer snob vs. wine connoisseur. While both boast merits in moderation, wine ultimately brings significantly more health benefits to the table than most alcoholic beverages. Dieticians recommend women limit themselves to one glass a day, and men two glasses, as this regimen has been shown to promote cardiovascular health in addition to a happy gut microbe.
The plentiful benefits of wine
“A little alcoholic drink, and especially red wine, appears to boost levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells. Omega-3 fatty acids, believed to protect against heart disease, are usually derived from eating fish. Researchers found that, in 1,604 adult participants, regular, moderate wine drinking was linked to higher blood levels of Omega-3 fatty acids,” explains Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., RN, CRNA of MedicalNews Today.
Setting aside the physical benefits, most health setbacks are disregarded in defense of the beverage’s intoxicating properties. As it turns out, there’s more to the wave of alleviation ushered in by a glass of red than you might think. A team of researchers from the University of Buffalo recently discovered that resveratrol, the very same plant compound that energized the Martian gravity study cited above, prohibits the expression of an enzyme important to the neurological process of depression and anxiety.
It all has to do with a predominant enzyme known as phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4). A person experiencing extreme anxiety or stress typically has an excessive amount of the hormone known as corticosterone circulating through their brain. By hindering the expression of PDE4, resveratrol acts as a sort of neurobiological protector against corticosterone production, thus reducing depressive symptoms.
According to the co-lead author of the study, and research associate professor in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ying Xu, MD, Ph.D., antidepressants that aim to mitigate depression and anxiety by elevating serotonin or noradrenaline function in the brian actually only work a third of the time.
“Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” says Ying Xu, research associate professor in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The researchers behind the study published in the journal Neuropharmacology, hope that resveratrol (which is found in a much greater abundance in grapes) will be considered by medical professionals in the future when addressing psychological disorders.