Scientists at the University of Louisiana have reported on another breakthrough in medical science that harnesses the power of antioxidants found in red wine and uses them to help fight heart disease.
Antioxidants found in red wine are being used in the application of stents to help heal hearts affected by disease
Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, specifically the skins of grapes, has in the past been widely credited with reducing the risk of cancer, countering the effects of a high fat diet and preventing Alzheimers, as well as helping to protect neuromuscular synapses and slow brain ageing, but only when extracted and concentrated.
Now, scientists believe it could also help assist the healing of a heart affected by disease.
Heart disease occurs when plaque builds up within artery walls blocking the blood flow through tissues in the body, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
To treat disease, often a small stent (tube) is inserted into the heart to support a blood vessel and ensure it remains open to allow blood flow, thereby decreasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
While commercial stents can release chemotherapy agents that are toxic and can cause the blood vessel to narrow again, LSU Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences Professor Tammy Dugas is developing a new stent that releases red wine antioxidants slowly over time that promotes healing and prevents blood clotting and inflammation. The two antioxidant compounds are resveratrol and quercetin.
“By delivering red wine antioxidants during conventional angioplasty, it may be possible to prevent excess tissue from building up and the blood vessel from narrowing again as it heals,” said Dr Dugas.
In addition to the stent, Dugas is also developing a balloon coated, used in place of a stent, with the same compounds to treat blood flow blockages throughout the body called peripheral artery disease.
Drug-coated balloons are a relatively new product and are being developed to help interventional cardiologists treat arteries that are difficult to target with traditional stents.