The compound from grape skins called resveratrol is back in the news, because research suggests that it might also become a powerful tool to help stop the spread of the flu.
Researchers at the Institute of Microbiology found that resveratrol could stop the replication of the influenza virus in cell cultures. The greatest effect was seen when the compound was given three hours after the virus was introduced into the cultures. It showed less effect six hours after infection, and had no effect when given nine hours after the infection. Strangely, pre-treatment of the cultures with resveratrol also had no effect.
The researchers then tested the effects of resveratrol on mice. Animals given the compound following inoculation with the influenza virus had a 40 percent increased survival rate compared to those not given resveratrol. And six days after the infection, the mice given resveratrol had 98 percent lower pulmonary viral antibody concentrations in their lungs than those not given the compound.
I have no doubt that the amazing powers of resveratrol are just starting to be uncovered. In the years to come, it will undoubtedly become one of the more sought-after supplements. In addition to its longevity capabilities, and now its flu-fighting ability, it’s been well established that it helps inhibit blood platelet activity (i.e., it stops the blood from clotting and forming blockages that lead to heart attack and stroke), and it also inhibits enzyme activity that leads to atherosclerosis.
Resveratrol may have just recently been discovered by our generation, but it's really just another one of those "re-discoveries." The ancient system of healing from India called Ayurveda has used a formulation called Drakshasava for hundreds of years. It has been prescribed for both digestive and cardiac problems with a great deal of success. It happens to be a wine preparation made from red grapes, cinnamon, and other herbs and spices. Recent laboratory analysis has found that it is an excellent source of both resveratrol and pterostilbene.
Resveratrol is widely available online and in retail stores. Drakshasava is available from the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine at www.niam.com.