Resveratrol, a plant compound found in red wine, has shown to be beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, according to a new study.
The compound provides therapeutic effects by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) associated with stressors in the brain. PDE4 reduces cyclic adenosine monophosphate in the body, leading to physical alterations in the brain.
In the past, studies have linked resveratrol to numerous health benefits. However, its relation to PDE4, which interacts with the stress hormone known as corticosterone, remains unclear. Corticosterone, produced in the cortex of the adrenal glands, is known to induce symptoms of depressive and anxiety disorders when excessive amounts of the hormone are found.
In a study on rodents, researchers observed behavior resembling depressive and anxiety disorders after uncovering PDE4 induced by high levels of corticosterone. In the findings, resveratrol demonstrated neuroprotective effects against corticosterone by blocking the expression of PDE4.
Overall, the study strengthens the notion of how its antidepressant effects might soon lead to new treatments.
“Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” Ying Xu, M.D., co-lead author of the study, concluded.
The study, also led by Xiaoxing Yin, Ph.D., a professor at Xuzhou Medical University, appeared in the journal Neuropharmacology.