Recent studies suggest that resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties may be an effective supplemental or alternative therapy to conventional drug treatment for COPD.43,70 Considered a chronic and progressively worsening lung disease COPD is caused by inflammation and other degenerative changes in the lungs.73 Patients with COPD have a hard time breathing even with the slightest exertion, are more prone to upper respiratory infections, and experience other symptoms of low oxygen levels in the blood.73

How Does It Work?

Resveratrol can help patients with COPD not only by inhibiting inflammation directly but also by reducing resistance to steroid treatment.70 Corticosteroids are often prescribed to reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, corticosteroids do not work that well for most COPD patients.71 This is because the disease creates resistance to their effects by blocking the enzymes necessary for corticosteroids to be able to repress inflammatory proteins.71

At the cellular level, the severity of the disease is associated with corresponding low levels of these enzymes, which are activated by sirtuin and related HDAC genes. Studies have shown that substances such as resveratrol can help stimulate production of these enzymes by activating these genes.70

Along with inhibiting the release of harmful inflammatory proteins, steroids also inhibit airway muscle cells from releasing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Many COPD patients also develop emphysema, and VEGF is believed to offer some protection from this happening, and resveratrol limits its inhibition.43

Evidence of Benefit

Resveratrol was tested in a clinical study involving smokers with and without COPD and nonsmokers. After exposure to a known inflammatory protein inducer, measurements were taken of the protein levels to determine how much resveratrol and the corticosteroid dexamethasone inhibited inflammation and VEGF. The results suggested that resveratrol reduced inflammatory proteins more efficiently than the steroid in the COPD patients, with only limited effect on VEGF levels.43

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Bluish tinge to lips or fingernails; swelling of legs,
ankles, and feet.
Possibly due to oxidative stress.

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