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The chemistry behind researching wine health benefits

A recent article in Chemistry World discusses the latest scientific advancements of studying resveratrol and other compounds found in red wine that are believed to have health properties. But although much time has been spent studying resveratrol (found in the skin of grapes), not much research has been conducted on resveratrol's oligomers (a molecule with few units). The reason for this is the cost and time involved in processing hundreds of kilograms of dried plant material that often yields only a few milligrams of a single product.

Now, Scott Snyder, Andreas Gollner and Maria Chiriac at Columbia University in New York have shown how a variety of resveratrol oligomers can be selectively produced, some in quantity, which will enable a much more focused and systematic study of their potential as medicines.

Sharon Rossiter, a medicinal chemist at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, says that the Snyder group's approach 'has enormous potential both for the synthesis of other complex architectures and for evaluation of these exciting natural products in drug discovery'.


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