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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Red Wine Cuts Flu Risk

When you line up this year for your flu shot, you may also want to pick up a few bottles of red wine.

Researchers at the University of South Carolina say a chemical found in red wine, apples and onions cuts the risk of influenza. This is especially true for athletes and others after rigorous workouts.

Quercetin, an anti-inflammatory compound found in the skins of fruit and vegetables, is the key ingredient. The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, found the compound offsets the susceptibility to flu created by workouts. The exact anti-viral properties of quercetin are not known, but researchers believe the compound may block the virus from replicating.

Previous studies have indicated quercetin reduces lung inflammation and may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

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