Protecting Your Health with Resveratrol
With so many articles and studies coming out about the benefits of Resveratrol, you might think that it was recently discovered. The truth is, this powerful antioxidant has been in use for more than 1,000 years in Eastern medicine. Now it has come to the attention of Western researchers and those who interested in the health benefits that Resveratrol can offer.
In 1939, Resveratrol became listed as a naturally occurring phytochemical by Japanese scientific researcher in residence at Cornell University, Michio Takaoka. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that more researchers became interested in the health benefits of Resveratrol.
In 2005, Dr. David Sinclair and Dr. Konrad Howitz of Harvard University published their study of Resveratrol in the journal Nature. Their study found that the lifespans of the animals that were given Resveratrol lengthened by as much as 30%.
The study also gave indications that the constituents found in Resveratrol showed promise in the reduction of obesity, the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and dementia. It also showed the potential of increasing memory, coordination and mobility. This early study was promising enough to entice other universities and medical researchers to take a closer look at the potential health benefits of Resveratrol.
What is Resveratrol?
Naturally found in grapes and other plants, Resveratrol contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the most highly studied of the four known polyphenols, stilbenoids, and antioxidants that occur in grapes.
These constituents serve to protect plants from any bacterial or fungal diseases by destroying invading microbes, boosting the plant’s immune system and reducing the effects of stress. Studies show a strong indication that these protections can be transferred directly from the plant to the animals or humans that consume them.
In November of 1991, CBS’ weekly program 60 Minutes broadcasted a report that suggested that due to the consumption of wine in France, people living in that country experienced lower levels of heart disease. Most researchers then and now agree that the consumption of red wine, grapes, dark berries or other foods containing higher levels of polyphenols like Resveratrol do appear to have lessened incidences heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases while also having an increased immune response.
In 1997, a French woman by the name of Jeanne Calment died after living to the ripe age of 122 years. While her secret to a long life may well have been due to good genetics, there is some speculation as to whether drinking red wine may have helped her live longer than anyone else.
Every day the foods we eat, the environments we live and work in, and the very air we breathe add to the stresses our bodies experience. By consuming foods and supplements which antioxidant-rich like Resveratrol, we can possibly reduce some of the stresses and adverse effects on the body.
Antioxidant properties found in Resveratrol can potentially:
- Lower blood pressure – A Chinese study conducted in 2005 indicated that as a supplement, Resveratrol could act to reduce systolic blood pressure and relieve stress on arterial walls and potentially reduce hypertension.
- Cholesterol Reduction – Researchers found strong evidence that Resveratrol reduces the enzyme that controls the levels of LDL cholesterol production in the body and reduces them. After six months, those who participated in the study found a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels of up to 20%.
- Possible Cancer Inhibitor – Several studies have been conducted on the effects of Resveratrol on the formation and treatment of cancer in the body. These have shown great promise in treating forms of cancer such as those found in the skin, breast, colon, prostate and gastrointestinal tract by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
- Potential Pain Reducer – Studies have shown that Resveratrol can help prevent the breakdown of cartilage within the joints and help prevent inflammation and pain, which can develop into arthritis.
- Memory and Cognitive Support – Some scientific studies that indicate that consuming red wine, foods or supplements containing Resveratrol can slow down age-related reduction in cognition and memory. Resveratrol shows the ability to protect the brain by blocking proteins which directly contribute to the plaques form on the brain as with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity –In laboratory studies conducted on mice, researchers found that Resveratrol improved sensitivity to insulin and prevented the development of diabetes.
- Potential Reducer of Depression and Anxiety – In July of 2019, researchers from the University at Buffalo and Xuzhou Medical University in China recently conducted a joint study which found that Resveratrol has shown potential in helping those who suffer from either depression or anxiety.
According to Dr. Susan Wood, the lead researcher a similar study conducted at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, believes that “there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that increased inflammation plays a role in the development of depression.” Her team concluded that Resveratrol helped to reduce and even block inflammation that can lead to depression and anxiety.
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“The Resveratrol Story” by William Amzallag, M.D., 2011, web.
“Resveratrol” by James Betz, 2013, Smashwords edition.
“Plant Foods and Herbal Sources of Resveratrol,” by Jennifer Burns, Takao Yakota, Hiroshi Ashihara, Michael E. J. Lean, and Alan Crozier, 2002, Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry,
“Resveratrol Mechanism” by Ebrahim K. Nadarali, Sharon L. Smith, Patrick Doyle, and Gareth Williams, 2017, Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Unit Department of Medicine, University of Liverpool, England, UK
“Could the Wine Compound Resveratrol Help Manage Depression?” by Hilary Sims, August 15, 2019, Wine Spectator. web.
“Resveratrol and Alzheimer’s disease: message in a bottle of red wine and cognition” by Alberto Granzatto and Paolo Zatta, 2014, Frontiers in Aging and Neuroscience, web.