Research suggests that resveratrol can help control the symptoms of asthma and improve the effectiveness of corticosteroid drug treatment. If you have asthma or know someone who does, you know just how serious this chronic inflammatory condition is. An asthma attack triggered by things like allergies, smoke, and respiratory infections can literally take your breath away. That’s because the immune system overreacts and causes inflammation in the lungs, constricts the muscles around the bronchial airways, and stimulates the airway cells to produce mucus—all of which result in wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.69
How Does It Work?
Resveratrol has been shown to reduce asthmatic symptoms by regulating immune system responses and reducing inflammation.41 In addition, recent research on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suggests that resveratrol could also help those asthmatics who do not respond well to corticosteroids because they are insensitive or resistant to them.70 Studies have shown that some 50% of people with asthma have some resistance to steroidal treatment.71 Polyphenols such as resveratrol have been shown to help activate the enzymes necessary to overcome this resistance.70
Evidence of Benefit
In an animal study designed to model human asthma resveratrol was tested for its ability to counteract some of the typical effects asthma causes in the body.41 Results showed that resveratrol was about as effective as the pharmaceutical corticosteroids Decadron®, Dexamethasone Intensol®, and Dexpak® Taperpak® typically prescribed to treat asthma and severe allergies.72 In particular, it significantly blocked increases in inflammatory proteins and suppressed overactive immune responses in the airways characterized by eosinophilia and too much mucus.41
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Components of plants that can influence physiological and cellular
activity in humans and animals.
Abnormal levels of white blood cells that are a part of the immune
system that can cause damage in the lung when caused by asthma.