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By Daily Mail Reporter

Back to the future: A substance found in red wine could stop further damage to cartilage in worn discs in the back

A substance found in red wine could help to mend damaged backs. New research shows that resveratrol slows down the rate at which discs in the spine degenerate.

Scientists found that injecting the substance into injured backs stopped further damage to the cartilage in the discs.

So far the results have been seen only in animal studies, but it's hoped the red wine ingredient could help thousands of people who suffer pain from worn discs.

Up to 85 per cent of adults in Britain have back pain at some point in their lives.

Many develop problems because supportive muscles waste away through lack of use, often caused by sitting at computers all day. This can cause long-term damage to the soft discs which act as cushions between the vertebrae, the bony joints in the spine.

The latest research, published in the journal Spine, suggests that injecting the red wine ingredient could help.

Resveratrol, found in the skins of red grapes, is known to be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Previous studies have shown it appears to block heart disease and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Scientists at Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago injected resveratrol into disc cartilage from cattle.

They found the red wine substance boosted levels of proteoglycan, a healing substance, and significantly slowed the rate at which cartilage wasted away.
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