Resveratrol is a phytoalexin (anti-fungal and anti-bacterial chemical) produced naturally by grapes and other plants in response to fungal infection. Found abundantly in the skin of red grapes, Resveratrol shows promising results in combating diseases like cancer, cardiovascular and related heart disease, and Alzheimer?s disease. Research also looks promising for its role in extending life span, promoting anti-viral activity and increasing physical stamina.
It is important to note that research on Resveratrol has been done only in test tubes or rodents. While evidence is still inconclusive, the volume of research and positive inferences suggest that Resveratrol could have massive, revolutionary possibilities for treating human beings!
Resveratrol became the first-ever supplement known to activate a longevity gene. Aging and death is caused by older cells losing their ability to perfectly replicate DNA, producing DNA ?mistakes?. DNA mistakes accumulate forming ?DNA debris” which eventually stops a cell from functioning. Studies show that Resveratrol reduces the frequency of ?DNA debris? by 60% through the longevity gene that it stimulates.
(Ref. Hall, S.S., 2003. Longevity research. In vino vitalis? Compounds activate life-extending genes. Science 301, 1165).
Study of Resveratrol done at the University of Rochester shows mounting evidence that suggests Resveratrol kills cancer cells while protecting healthy cells from radiation treatment. It does this by disabling the cancer cell’s mitochondria (DNA power source). Dr. Paul Okunieff, lead author of this research announced, “Resveratrol seems to have a therapeutic gain by making tumor cells more sensitive to radiation and making normal tissue less sensitive”. He further stated, “this research indicates that resveratrol has a promising future as part of the treatment for cancer.”
(Ref. Mounting Evidence Shows Red Wine Antioxidant Kills Cancer”, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center., 2008-03-26. Retrieved on 2008-03-26).
Mice that were fed resveratrol for 15 weeks showed better treadmill endurance. The study supported a hypothesis that the effects of resveratrol are due to the activation of SIRT1.
(Ref. Johan Auwerx, Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cell Biology in Illkirch, France).
The study of Resveratrol has shown promising results, in vitro, in increasing the potency of some anti-retro-viral drugs against HIV. Study also showed 90% effectiveness when resveratrol was added six hours after an influenza virus infection.
(Ref. Revel, A. et al. Resveratrol, a natural aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonist, protects lung from DNA damage and apoptosis caused by benzo[a]pyrene. J. Appl. Toxicol. 2003;23:255-61).
Research of Resveratrol and its effects on the heart have reported Resveratrol to have extensive potential benefits:
As a potentially potent antioxidant activity. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant. It helps prevent lipid peroxidation of low-density lipoprotein. A study published in Free Radical Research reported that testing of Resveratrol, Vitamin E and a synthetic antioxidant resulted in resveratrol as the best defense against scavenging artery-damaging radicals.
(Ref. Tadolini, B. et al. Resveratrol inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Free Radic. Res. 2000;33:105-14)
In helping prevent damage to blood vessels. A recent British research claims Resveratrol protects against cellular damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes. These elevated levels of glucose can cause heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness. Dr. Matt Whiteman, lead researcher, stated, ” research shows the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure, and the ability of resveratrol to protect against and mend that damage.?
In helping reduce cholesterol. Resveratrol has been shown to modulate the metabolism of lipids, and inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, thus helping to regulate cholesterol levels.
In helping protect the blood circulation and heart function. Nitric oxide, a major component in heart/artery function allows blood vessels to ?relax,? thus enhancing blood flow. A diet high in cholesterol has been found to decrease the function of nitric oxide by about one third. Research found Resveratrol supplements significantly reversed this trend, helping protect blood circulation and heart function.
(Ref .Zou JG, et al. Effect of red wine and wine polyphenol resveratrol on endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Int. J. Mol. Med. 2003;11:317-20).
In helping prevent platelet aggregation which leads to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. Resveratrol keeps blood cells from sticking together. Canadian researchers found that nothing else they tested was active against this aspect of heart disease except Resveratrol, which inhibited not only thrombin, but a host of other stickiness-promoting factors.
(Ref. Pace-Asciak, C.R. et al. The red wine phenolics trans-resveratrol and quercetin block human platelet aggregation and eicosanoid synthesis: implications for protection against coronary heart disease. Clin. Chim. Acta. 1995;235:207-19).
Sources of Resveratrol
Foods containing resveratrol are red wine, peanuts, cranberries, blueberries, Japanese knotweed.
The concentration of Resveratrol in red wine varies from wine to wine. Excess consumption of wine can also be harmful to health, and addictive. The best way to obtain a standardized amount of Resveratrol daily is to take a Resveratrol supplement. Trans-resveratrol in the powder form is used in making Resveratrol supplements, like Red Defense. This is also a good option for people who do not consume alcohol.