Grape-Derived Compounds Could Help Treat Depression, A New Study Reveals

Natural compounds found in grapes could ward off depression, according to a new study.

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A new study reveals that grape-derived compounds known as dihydrocaffeic acid (DHCA) and malvidin-3′-O-glucoside (Mal-gluc) can develop into therapeutic agents for treating depression.

The study published in Nature Communications on February 2 indicates that these compounds may help in treating depression by targeting the underlying mechanisms of this condition through DNA epigenetic modification. The researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai led the study.

In the new study, Giulio Maria Pasinetti, Ph.D., Saunders Professor of Neurology and the lead author of the study, and her team discovered that a bioactive dietary polyphenol preparation could efficiently promote resilience against stress-induced depression in an animal model. This nutritional development includes a select Concord grape juice, grape seed extract, and trans-resveratrol, according to Medical Xpress.

The team discovered that the grape-derived compounds such as the DHCA and Mal-gluc could treat depression in mice by modulating inflammation and synaptic plasticity. They are also useful in reducing the depression-like phenotypes in mice with a high rate of systematic inflammation by transplantation of cells from the bone marrow of the depressed mice.

Jun Wang, the associate professor at Icahn, said that their study shows that combination treatment with the two compounds could promote resilience against stress-mediated, depression-like phenotypes by modulating systemic inflammatory responses and brain synaptic plasticity in a mouse model with depression. Meanwhile, Dr. Pasinetti said that the discovery of these natural grape-derived polyphenol compounds targeting cellular and molecular pathways linked with inflammation could treat people with depression and anxiety.

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Depression affects millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, about 16 million people have a major depressive episode every year. It is a severe medical condition that negatively affects your emotions, the way you think, and how you act. If not treated, it could lead to emotional and physical problems and may affect the quality of your life.

Among its symptoms include feeling sad, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of energy, and feeling worthless or guilty. The patient may also engage in a purposeless physical activity such as pacing or hand-wringing and may have thoughts of death or suicide, according to American Psychiatric Association.