Chemical in grapes inhibits flu virus

See review of Resveratrol from Quackwatch

May 31, 2005 (CIDRAP News)

Resveratrol, a chemical found in grapes and other fruits, inhibits the reproduction of influenza viruses in cell culture and mice, according to a recent report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Rather than directly attacking the flu virus itself, resveratrol seems to block host-cell functions that are essential for viral replication, says the report by Anna T. Palamara and colleagues at the University of Rome. They write that the substance holds promise as a possible weapon against flu. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that is found in at least 72 plant species and is known to help protect the heart and nervous system and help prevent cancer, says the report. The researchers did a series of experiments in which they exposed cells to a flu virus and added resveratrol an hour later. They also exposed groups of mice to the virus and treated them with resveratrol or a placebo. …
“We have shown that RV [resveratrol], a natural polyphenol whose concentration in red wine is 1.5–3.0 mg/L, can inhibit the in vitro and in vivo replication of influenza A virus without producing any significant toxicity,” the article states. The apparent ability of resveratrol to block host-cell functions that flu viruses rely on offers important advantages, the researchers say. Compared with existing anti-flu drugs, resveratrol would be less likely to induce resistance by flu viruses, and it would probably be effective for all types and strains of flu virus.
“For these reasons, RV merits further investigation as a potential weapon for combating the growing threat of influenza,” the authors conclude.
Palamara AT, Nencioni L, Aquilano K, et al. Inhibition of influenza A virus replication by resveratrol. J Infect Dis 2005;191(15 May):1719–29 [Abstract]
Page last modified on July 10, 2005, at 02:21 PM by DemFromCT