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Study: Compounds in Wine might prevent Flu

Posted: Monday, 14 August 2017 10:55


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Study: Compounds in Wine might prevent Flu

Aug 14: According to a Study on mice published by the journal ‘Science’ and conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, a particular gut microbe can prevent severe flu infections, perhaps by breaking down naturally occurring compounds, Flavonoids which are commonly found in red wines, black tea and blueberries

Although many earlier studies have already averred that the Flavonoids, the chemical substances present in red wines, black tea and blueberries, commonly known as anti-oxidants have far-reaching effects on the immune system and are beneficial to heart, one has to wait for the positive effects suggested by this Study as it has been performed so far on mice.

The study published Aug. 4 and reported in the Science Daily also indicates that this strategy is effective in safeguarding against severe damage from flu when the interaction occurs prior to infection with the virus. This could help explain the wide variation in human responses to influenza infection.

Influenza, characterized by fever, cough and body aches, is a common and sometimes deadly viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The World Health Organization estimates there are 250,000 to 500,000 flu-related deaths around the world annually.

"It's not only having a diet rich in Flavonoids, our results show the need for right microbes in the intestine to use them to control the immune response," said the study's senior author, Dr. Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck.  "We were able to identify at least one type of bacteria that uses these dietary compounds to boost interferon, a signalling molecule that aids the immune response. This prevented influenza-related lung damage in the mice. It is this kind of damage that often causes significant complications such as pneumonia in people," he said.

Next steps include identifying other gut microbes that also may use Flavonoids to influence the immune system, as well as exploring ways to boost the levels of those bacteria in people whose intestines aren't adequately colonized with those microbes. As the future studies are planned, the researchers recommend it might not be a bad idea to drink red wine and black tea and eat foods rich in Flavonoids before the next flu season begins.

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