Could wine treat coronavirus?

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Studies are underway to determine if the resveratrol in wine can treat diseases.

By Mary Malik

Resveratrol just might be the thing you’ve never heard of that’s the answer to all your problems. That may be an overstatement about this natural polyphenolic compound found in red grapes, raspberries and some other foods, but resveratrol is responsible for many of the healthful benefits of red wine.

“Low doses of resveratrol have been shown to strengthen and stimulate the immune system,” says Jim Sperk, of the Northern Ohio Wine Guild. “In moderation, drinking red wine can protect against artery damage and may help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure. There are also claims that resveratrol can help in the fight against dementia and cancer.”

According to Jim, recent research suggests that enriching red wine with increased resveratrol might increase health aspects while also replacing sulfites as an antioxidant.

“Sulfites have been known to cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks and headaches,” says Jim. “Although longer-term studies are still needed to assess aging properties of wines with resveratrol versus sulfites.”

Recent additional research has suggested that resveratrol exhibits inhibitory effects on virus replication in some viruses, including herpes simplex and the coronavirus.

“Although it’s still too early to suggest that resveratrol can treat this new virus,” says Jim. “These research results are significant and do demonstrate that resveratrol could possibly be developed as a potential treatment for coronavirus and other diseases caused by coronavirus.”

But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to note that much more research needs to be done and until those results come out, the effects of resveratrol on coronavirus remain unknown.

“So, until we know for sure, there certainly seems to be no harm in enjoying a glass of red wine,” says Jim. “And, if we’re lucky, it may even do us some good.”

For more information about the Northern Ohio Wine Guild, contact Jim Sperk at