Resveratrol is a polyphenol antioxidant naturally ocurring in red wine, grapes other plants and other sources such as penauts and berries. Resveratrol naturally protects fruit from fungus and other diseases.
A calorie restriction diet confers benefits for longer lifespan. Recent research reports that resveratrol extends the life span of cells by as much as 70%. In numerous studies, resveratrol has demonstrated effects that mimic those of caloric restriction, the best-documented anti-aging strategy to date. These compounds found in resveratrol are thought to have antioxidant properties, protecting the body against the kind of damage linked to increased risk for conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Heart disease. Resveratrol helps reduce inflammation, prevents the oxidation of LDL "bad" cholesterol, and makes it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can lead to a heart attack.
Resveratrol is thought to limit the spread of cancer cells and trigger the process of cancer cell death (apoptosis).
Resveratrol helps prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the blood sugar-lowering hormone, insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
Because resveratrol is thought to have so many health benefits, it's not surprising that a number of manufacturers have tried to capitalize by selling resveratrol supplements. Most resveratrol capsules sold in the U.S. contain extracts from the Japanese and Chinese knotweed plant Polygonum cuspidatum. Other resveratrol supplements are made from red wine or red grape extracts.
Rodent studies suggest that resveratrol might even help against some of the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and lead to increased longevity. Resveratrol-treated mice fed a high-calorie diet lived longer than similarly fed mice not given resveratrol. Resveratrol protected mice fed a high-calorie diet from obesity-related health problems by mimicking the effects of caloric restriction.
Resveratrol has also been linked to prevention of age-related problems such as heart disease and insulin resistance. Researchers believe that resveratrol activates the SIRT1 gene, a biological mechanism that seems to protect the body against the harmful effects of obesity and the diseases of aging.
Still, many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It's possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits.
Most research on resveratrol has been done on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease.
Resveratrol can be found in the skins of grapes, in raisins, peanuts, mulberries, blueberries, cranberries, eucalyptus trees, and in the Japanese Knotweed plant. There is some known benefit supplied when drinking red wine, however researchers believe this is not caused by resveratrol. The amount of red wine you would need to consume to see a positive impact (about a liter a day) would be so great that you would damage your liver in the process. Since many resveratrol supplements are made from grape extracts, and since grapes are poisonous to dogs, you may wonder if resveratrol is safe for dogs. Our healthy treats uses Japanese knotweed and giant knotweed that are important an concentrated sources of resveratrol and its glucoside piceid, replacing grape byproducts.
Therefore, in order to see health benefits from resveratrol, you should take the product as supplement. It should be combined with other nutrients and protected with an enteric coating so it will eventually enter directly into the blood stream by way of the small intestine. These benefits include a stronger heart, a stronger metabolism, and a longer and a healthier life.
Although no one really understands why resveratrol provides these health benefits, several theories have emerged to explain how it works. One theory is that trans-resveratrol stimulates a gene that decreases a free radical called superoxide. Over time, superoxide can cause erosion in DNA. This means that the resveratrol supplements should also contain Vitamin C, enzymes, and glutathione. By stimulating this gene, the superoxide is reduced to hydrogen peroxide, a free radical. When Vitamin C is at work, the hydrogen peroxide is reduced to water. Adding glutathione and enzymes to the supplement will boost the effects of the Vitamin C by making it last for a longer time.
Other studies have shown that resveratrol helps prevent cancer during all three phases of the cancer process: initiation, promotion and progression. Resveratrol has been shown to have antioxidant and antimutagenic activity and also to increase levels of other detoxification enzymes, the Phase II enzymes in the liver that are capable of attaching carcinogens to other molecules that act as carriers and ferry them out of the body. In addition, resveratrol inhibits the activity of cyclooxygenase and hydroperoxidase, two enzymes central to the inflammatory process, which can contribute to the spread and development of cancer cells. Resveratrol has also been found to cause human promyelocytic leukemia cells to differentiate and revert to normal, thus helping to slow down the progression phase of cancer. Some researchers also believe that resveratrol may be responsible for what is known as the "French Paradox". The "French Paradox" is a term coined by researchers to describe the low rates of cardiovascular disease among French people, despite a national diet that contains lots of saturated fat and cholesterol. Researchers now believe that the relatively high intake of red wine, which contains resveratrol, may be the explanation.
As research continues to confirm the health benefits of resveratrol, increasing your intake of this nutrient is a smart choice. Unfortunately, this nutrient is not as widespread in our food supply as other well-known phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Although resveratrol has been identified in over 70 species of plants, including eucalyptus, spruce, lily, mulberries and peanuts, resveratrol's most abundant natural food source is grapes, especially the varieties used to make wine. Fresh grape skin contains about 50 to 100 micrograms of resveratrol per gram, while red wine concentrations range from 1.5 to 3 milligrams per liter. Resveratrol belongs to a group of compounds called phytoalexins that plants produce in self-defense against environmental stressors like adverse weather or attack by insects or pathogenic microbes. Since grapes produce resveratrol as a defensive agent against fungal infection, this cancer-fighting phytonutrient is found at higher levels in organically grown grapes, which have not been artificially protected by treatment with man-made fungicides.