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New research indicates that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, can help to heal heart damage.

Published last week in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the article states that stem cells containing resveratrol were more effective in repairing heart damage than those without. Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in the skins of wine grapes. The reseachers selected resvaratrol for the test because it enhances the antioxidant defense mechanism and may 'maintain a safer niche for the stem cells'.

According to the report on this research in Wine Spectator, the experiment was conducted as follows:

In the experiment, the researchers made incisions in the hearts of rats and then sutured the wounds, simulating damage from a heart attack. The rats were then injected with stem cells directly into the heart in order to see if the cells would convert into healthy heart tissue and begin healing the wound.

In the run-up to surgery, one group of rats was given resveratrol supplements along with daily meals for two weeks. In these rats, the scientist found the stem cells faced a less stressful environment at the site of the wound. This lead them to conclude that resveratrol's ability to operate as an antioxidant, clearing out damaging free radicals, likely made the environment in the heart tissue more conducive to healing.

When resveratrol and stem cells are used in concert, "cardiac function was significantly improved" compared to heart tissue treated with stem cells alone, according to the text.

A good excuse to enjoy a glass of Leopard's Leap red!

Image by Bob Fornal via Compfight

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