Red wine is a complex mixture of phytochemicals and their metabolites. One phytochemical in red wine is resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant that is found in grapes. Evidence suggests that resveratrol is effective at protecting from a number of diseases, and may improve both physical and mental health. Evidence suggests that resveratrol is protective of mood disorders, and this may relate to its antioxidant capacity. For example, in one study, researchers administered resveratrol to rats and exposed the rats to experimental stress. Both in an acute and chronic administration pattern, resveratrol was effective at reducing the depressive-like behaviour of the rats in the forced swimming test. This improvement in mood was facilitated without any detrimental effects on locomotor activity, suggesting it was not due to sedation. In addition, the levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor were elevated in the hippocampus area of the brains of the rats, suggesting the resveratrol had neuroprotective effects.
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