Drinking red wine may help fight inflammation in the body, according to research published on Sunday by scientists at the University of Glasgow.
Researchers found that resveratrol, an anti-oxidant found in red wine, protected mice when they were exposed to a strong inflammatory agent.
Mice that were not pre-treated with resveratrol developed a serious reaction similar to the inflammatory disorder sepsis.
The study found that it blocks two major proteins in the body that trigger inflammation.
"Strong acute inflammatory diseases such as sepsis are very difficult to treat and many die every day due to lack of treatment," said Alirio Melendez of the University of Glasgow.
"Moreover, many survivors of sepsis develop a very low quality of life due to the damage that inflammation causes to several internal organs," he said.
"The ultimate goal of our study was to identify a potential novel therapy to help in the treatment of strong acute inflammatory diseases."
Resveratrol has been widely associated with health benefits ranging from anti-aging to boosting anti-viral treatments. Previous studies have found that resveratrol can help prevent blood clots and combat cancer.
The anti-oxidant is found in the skin of grapes but it occurs in greater quantities in red rather than white wine.
The study was outlined in the FASEB Journal -- published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology.
"The therapeutic potential of red wine has been bottled up for thousands of years," said Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal.
"Now that scientists have uncorked its secrets, they find that studies of how resveratrol works can lead to new treatments for life-threatening inflammation."