Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) situated in La Jolla, CA, led by Matthew Sajish and Paul Schimmel, have found out that a compound in red wine and in grapes, known as resveratrol may be healthy for the human body for keeping stress in check.
This particular compound, has been found to be helpful in many diseases. It supposedly lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps in the treating cancer and protect against hearing loss.
The compound works like the amino acid, tyrosine, which under stressful conditions binds to a specific enzyme called the TyrRS, which is a tRNA synthetase. TyrRS plays an important role by relocating to the nucleus in stressful situations. Since resveratrol has similar properties to the amino acid tyrosine, it can also target the enzyme TyrRS. When the TyrRS is in the nucleus it can induce pathways that prove to be effective in minimizing stressful situations through activating genes or promoting protein synthesis.
In their research, the investigators wanted to find out if the compound resveratrol would act on the TyrRS enzyme and reported that it indeed did. Alongside this, the researchers found that the compound activated this particular pathway even when it was consumed in relatively small quantities. This quantity was found to be almost a 1000 times lower than what was previously believed would be required for the desired effect.
“Based on these results, it is conceivable that moderate consumption of a couple glasses of red wine would give a person enough resveratrol to evoke a protective effect via this pathway.This stress response represents a layer of biology that has been largely overlooked, and resveratrol turns out to activate it at much lower concentrations than those used in prior studies. With these findings we have a new, fundamental mechanism for the known beneficial effects of resveratrol.”says the lead author Sajish.
Similar response in plants has been observed as well through pathways similar to those observed in animal cells. This in conjunction with the fact that increased growth was also observed, has led the researchers to believe that this might be one of the fundamental processes through which organisms grow and protect themselves.