A molecule in red wine might help fight depression and anxiety
When the human body is under stress, a hormone is released in the brain, which in large quantities may trigger depression, anxiety or mental disorders. The production of this hormone may be stopped by resveratrol – a compound from the tannin group found in red wine. At least these are the findings by American university scientists.
May red wine be considered a kind of depression cure?
It might seem that the following article encourages you to drink your favourite red like water, but it is not exactly the case. The American scientists discovered that with moderate alcohol consumption, the molecules found among others in red wine will have a positive effect on depression and anxiety.
On 15th July the prestigious Neuropharmacology magazine published a study discussing resveratrol. It is a polyphenol (tannin) found in the skin and seeds of some grapes, but also peanuts or blackberries.
Already in the past, this compound was said to improve the memory of the elderly and reduce anxiety. But there was no scientific backing of how exactly it works. Now, the Buffalo University team might have discovered its true potential.
According to the scientists, resveratrol may mix with an enzyme, which is responsible for a release of the so-called “stress hormone” in the human body.
When the human body undergoes stress, the PDE4 enzymes signal to the brain that it should release a “regulatory” hormone – corticosterone. However, to a vast extent, this hormone may cause depression, anxiety and mental disorders in a person. When consumed, resveratrol might be able to stop such signalling and prevent the corticosterone from being released in high quantity.
Means of use?
“Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” Ying Xu, the main co-lead author and research associate professor at the Canadian School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in New Brunswick, says in her article.
“Current antidepressants instead focus on serotonin or noradrenaline (other neurotransmitters, editorial note), but only one-third of patients with depression enter full remission in response to these medications,” explains the specialist. Therefore, a resveratrol-based treatment could extend the efficiency of antidepressants.
Nevertheless, it is important to mention that red wine consumption carries various health risks especially due to the amount of alcohol and sugar. Therefore, it is very unlikely that doctors would start recommending their patients treated with depression that they should drink more red wine.
Hence, if, based on this research, resveratrol becomes a medical substance in the future, it will most likely happen in its “pure” form unrelated to its natural environment.