Red Wine Compounds Affect On Depression: In Vino Veritas?:
So we recently talked about Anxiety & Depression in a post about dogs & cats.
One of the things we discussed was the life-factors we tend to overlook.
In that case it was Stress, and that’s generally there because we tend to just accept it as something we can’t eliminate.
But just as that post found interesting and unexpected solutions in the form of pets,
Researchers continue to find new solutions to Anxiety & Depression in unexpected places.
And if a Buffalo team is correct, the old spectre may just get an even older solution…
Maybe Depression Isn’t That Simple After-All:
So the most common mental-afflictions may share some common-features,
But they can have different causes, and different fixes depending on the person.
-Hence the wide array of treatments and medications for them over the decades.
Everything from hard drugs in the Olde-Tyme versions of drinks like Coca-Cola,
To Lithium, Prozac, talk-therapy, CBT, etc.
But the short answer for the current research is that an unexpected new factor for depression & anxiety just might be Stress,
And some famous compounds from red wine just might be able to help fix it in a new way.
Read on for the details…
Here’s A Handfull Of Pills, Good Luck:
So even now, the main solution for a “therapist” is just to throw a handfull of pills at you and call it good.
But of-course, many people who’ve been through the anti-depressant merry-go-round can tell you,
Not all psychotropics work the same for all people.
So much so that drugs like Abilify were created specifically to help them do their job better.
Even ones not on the Dangerous Drugs List can have trouble at being truly effective.
-With about two-thirds of patients not experiencing complete remission of depression symptoms.
In-fact, several studies suggest that things like better nutrition, and cardiovascular exercise are almost as good,
And for some patients, even more-so.
So: We have imperfect solutions right now.
And maybe the lesson from diet & exercise studies is that we have to start thinking past just little-old Serotonin to get there.
The Next Shoe To Drop:
Well U of B just came up with a big piece of that puzzle!
In a starter-study on mice, they found that not red wine,
But one of the compounds in it, really seemed to help with Depression & Anxiety.
Is it Melatonin? Nope. Just makes you sleepy.
It’s the Anti-Aging Superstar: Resveratrol.
-Which is good, because if they told you to just put-in an IV drip of Franzia,
You’d eventually become even more depressed from the weight-gain or the cirrhosis.
But stress-induced depression did disappear in the test-animals when given Resveratrol.
So How Does It Work? Or Hello Darkness, My Old Friend:
So one of the most interesting things the researchers discovered is the problem our beloved “fur babies” were trying to help us out with all-along.
It turns out that if you get stressed, you get a new chemical flying around your brain that was under-appreciated.
Nope, it’s not Cortisol, although that’s one of them.
Something similar to it is called Corticosterone, a steroid related to Cortisol.
And that stuff seems to not only fly-around your brain when you get stressed,
The researchers hint that it just might sit there and even Accumulate as you’re getting stressed.
Ever get that “brain ache” feeling when you’re stressed, like it’s not really a headache, but your brain is still on-fire and not in a good way?
Maybe that is Corticosterone doing its evil work?
DANGER ZONE! Finding The Stress Target:
Well co-lead Xing Yu found the main thing that nasty steroid targets, and it’s called PDE4.
That enzyme was unknown in its relation to stress and corticosterone up until now.
And when you have too much of the last two, it turns out that enzyme gets WAY over-expressed.
The tests on mice showed it, too.
Over-expressed PDE4 from too much corticosterone makes mice depressed and anxious.
And over-expressed PDE4 in Humans can lead to other mental-disorders besides just depression.
Resveratrol somehow inhibits the expression of that enzyme, even with the stress-steroid still present.
And because Stress Hurts, it ended up effectively protecting the test-animals brains.
Red Wine Compound Resveratrol For Depression, A Few Cautions:
Now before we all go out and get hammered like the Ancient Romans,
Let’s just slow things down a bit, health-nuts.
It is absolutely-possible, and absolutely-unhealthy to get too many antioxidants.
Resveratrol does have anti-oxidant properties.
It also increases your circulation as do many “brain-helper” type supplements like Gingko, Fish Oil, Niacin, etc.
And it Is possible to overdose.
With any supplement, too, you also have to worry about purity and potency.
Purity, The Accidental-Hemophiliac, And Pseudo-Estrogen:
Anyone also taking a blood-thinner or vaso-dilator of any kind should be VERY careful around supplements that do similar things, like this one.
You don’t want to become an accidental hemophiliac, do you?
It also also acts like a mild pseudo-estrogen, so if you’re at-risk for any complications related to that hormone, be very careful too.
So if you’re going to try anything to ease the pain of stress-induced depression,
Please talk to your doctor first and make sure they have an updated list of Every. Single. Thing. you are taking,
Whether it’s a prescription-medication, gambling-with-your-life-MAOIs, supplements, or even recreational drugs or alcohol.
Food-Sources Might Not Be Concentrated-Enough:
Because you don’t want to create more problems than you solve.
The other problem you get is the opposite: Obesity from sugar-bombs.
Because, although you can get many great vitamins and minerals from food in better form than supplement pills,
You are unlikely to get as much Resveratrol from eating red grapes or dark chocolate,
Or drinking red grape juice or wine,
As you are from taking an actual supplement pill of the stuff.
So as with many things in life, it’s a careful compromise.
Still, Stress & PDE4 Is An Amazing Discovery:
All that being said, this completely brand-new angle on Anxiety & Depression is an amazing new take.
Anything to attack it, and the Stress that can often plague most of us is a welcome addition to mental-health and quality-of-life.
Still more-encouraging is that the particular red wine compound from the study is already considered safe,
So Human-Trials of Xing Yu’s experiment could be right around the corner!
Still further-out, perhaps pharmaceutical companies can come-out with an even-healthier, less-harmful, and more-effective drug to help many of us deal with these issues.
Either way resveratrol as a new band-aid angle to battle stress and keep it from harming our brains, our lives, and depressing our psyches is an amazing discovery with a lot of promise.
Photo Credits: “Enjoying a bottle of red wine”, by Jez Timms
• Source: University of Buffalo
• More Coverage: WebMD Resveratrol
• Source Study: Neuropharmacology – The antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects of resveratrol: Involvement of phosphodiesterase-4D inhibition