Resveratrol Health Supplement Benefits Studies
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What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol - also known as trans-resveratrol, is a phytoalexin produced and sourced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Resveratrol has also been produced by chemical synthesis and is sold as a nutritional supplement derived primarily from Japanese knotweed. In mouse and rat experiments, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-lowering and other beneficial cardiovascular effects of resveratrol have been reported. Most of these results have yet to be replicated in humans. In the only positive human trial, extremely high doses (3–5 g) of rezveratrol in a proprietary formulation have been necessary to significantly lower blood sugar. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and is a constituent of red wine. Experiments and resveratrol studies have shown that resveratrol treatment extended the life of fruit flies, nematode worms and short living fish but it did not increase the life span of mice.
Heart/Blood Vessels, Antioxidant Vitamins and Resveratrol Benefits
When researchers deconstruct heart disease health studies, they see many different things happening at the level of the cell. Cholesterol and other fat-related substances are one small part of a bigger picture that involves many other factors. Fortunately, many facets of heart disease can be controlled through dietary means. Resveratrol is a dietary agent that has powerful and diverse effects on the heart and blood vessels.
FRENCH PARADOX - Benefits of Resveratrol Review
The “French paradox” says that a person can eat a lot of fat, yet not get heart disease. Why? One of the reasons is that the wine they drink contains resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant. By now, many people have heard that oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a problem in heart disease. This is why vitamin E helps prevent heart problems—it scavenges the radicals that oxidize this fat/protein. However, the kind of radicals that vitamin E blocks are not the only kind of free radicals people have to worry about. There are other types, which is why it’s important to take all of the known antioxidant vitamins. In a study published in Free Radical Research, resveratrol was put to the test against vitamin E and a synthetic antioxidant. All three were very good at scavenging artery-damaging radicals, but resveratrol emerged as the best defense against certain types of radicals. This points out the importance of using a multi-approach to antioxidants.
One of the serious complications of free radical damage is hardening and thickening of arteries. A “vicious cycle” of radicals, artery damage, and narrowing due to scar tissue that, in turn, promotes more free radical activity and more damage, has been described. Resveratrol, melatonin and Probucol are suggested as treatments for this progressive process. Resveratrol’s antioxidant supplement action helps stop free radical damage and opens the arteries by enhancing nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is a critical component of heart/artery function. It allows blood vessels to “relax,” which enhances blood flow. In a recent study, a high-cholesterol diet decreased nitric oxide by about a third. Rezveratrol supplements significantly reversed the trend.
In this respect, resveratrol is similar to Viagra, which also affects nitric oxide. However, whereas Viagra only affects small vessels, resveratrol affects the main arteries.
Finally, resveratrol also stops the proliferation of cells in blood vessels that narrow the arteries, and it also keeps blood cells from sticking together. Both are very important for preventing heart attacks. The ability of resveratrol to keep blood cells from sticking together was investigated by Canadian researchers who wanted to know what role, if any, other components of wine might play in the process. They found that ethanol itself inhibited one type of stickiness-promoter, and quercetin inhibited a different one , but 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.
WINE & RESVERATROL HEALTH BENEFITS
Wine. No other beverage has attracted the attention of modern medicine like this drink. Although it is most widely known for its health benefits for the heart, wine has health benefits against cancer, dementia, and other age-related diseases. Researchers in Denmark recently looked at 25,000 people to find out what drinking alcohol does to mortality and discovered that wine drinkers slash their overall risk of dying from any cause by about 40%.
Chemists took wine apart years ago to find out what makes it tick. Basically, Wine contains an ultra host of plant compounds resveratrol being one. Unfortunately, resveratrol and some of the other beneficial components to health got shelved as “toxicants,” and nobody paid much attention to them until a scientist tried to figure out why the French can eat so much fat and not get heart disease. It turns out that part of the answer to the “French paradox” are the health benefits of rezveratrol found in red wine.
Resveratrol is naturally created by certain vines, pine trees, peanuts, grapes, and other plants. One of these plants (Polygonnum cuspidatum) is an ingredient in traditional Asian medicines that are prescribed for liver and heart conditions. Resveratrol is classified as a polyphenol because of its chemical structure. Polyphenols make up a huge group of plant compounds that are further broken down into other classifications such as flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and the like.
Alzheimer's and Resveratrol
It was shown recently that resveratrol possesses a natural “novel mechanism” for scavenging radicals. Might this novel mechanism protect the brain from free radical-driven diseases like Alzheimer's?
Although the research is very preliminary, resveratrol studies indicate that it may be particularly important for those at risk for Alzheimer’s, or those who have it. It is theorized that free radicals might initiate the process that leads to the disease. The brain is composed mostly of fatty acids, and just as the heart needs to be protected against oxidized fat, so does the brain.
Alzheimer's patients produce an abnormal peptide (a piece of a protein) known as “beta-amyloid” in their brains. Beta-amyloid provokes oxidative stress, and eventually cells are killed because of the abnormally high levels of free radicals. The killing of brain cells causes the gradual decline in Alzheimer's patients. It has been proven that resveratrol can protect the brain against oxidative stress, and keep cells alive.[9,10] Research shows that adding antioxidant vitamins C and/or E to resveratrol provides a greater degree of brain protection than any of these antioxidants alone.
Spinal Cord Injury Studies, Stroke and Resveratrol
Recent resveratrol supplement studies by Chinese researchers showed interesting results. If confirmed by other researchers, it could be very important for people who undergo serious brain/spinal trauma or stroke. In these types of injuries, the body’s response causes further injury, and for that reason, people are treated with drugs like cortisone, and in the case of stroke—aspirin. The idea is to reduce the body’s inflammatory response to the injury.
Cancer and Resveratrol Health Benefit
Cancer is, perhaps, the most dynamic area of resveratrol studies and research. Resveratrol is the first natural medicine to have solid evidence behind it showing that it blocks or stops many stages of cancer. Resveratrol not only prevents cancer, it’s being proposed as an additional treatment.
The number of studies has exploded in the past three years, with the depth of knowledge about this polyphenol increasing with each report. Resveratrol is a broad-spectrum agent that stops cancer in many diverse ways, from blocking estrogen and androgens to modulating genes.
Some of the latest information about it shows that resveratrol causes a unique type of cell death, and kills cancer cells whether they do or do not have the tumor suppressor gene. It also works whether cancer cells are estrogen receptor-positive or negative.
Researchers in Austria have done elaborate studies showing that resveratrol blocks the ability of cancer cells to metastasize to bone (30-71%).[ The highest results were for pancreas, breast, and renal cancer. Prostate and colon cancers were also inhibited, but not as much.*
Resveratrol Side Effect: Activates a Longevity Gene Benefits
In a widely publicized report, researchers at Harvard Medical School and BIOMOL Research Laboratories have demonstrated that resveratrol activates a “longevity gene” in yeast that extends life span by 70%. The effects mimic those of calorie restriction, the only proven way of extending maximum life span. Resveratrol activates one of the same “sirtuin (SIR)” genes as calorie restriction. Although the research has only been done in yeast, flies and worms so far, humans have their own version of the same life span-extending gene.*
Resveratrol’s ability to activate the gene has to do with its chemical structure, not its antioxidant potential. It works by increasing the rate of a reaction known as “deacetylation.” Acetylation reactions affect whether a gene is “off” or “on.” This is extremely important. In cancer cells, for example, genes are activated that aren’t supposed to be, and vice versa. By controlling deacetylation, and augmenting the longevity gene, resveratrol is able to confer some serious life extension benefits—at least in lower critters. And, yes, acetylation modulators are being pursued for the treatment of cancer to restore the normal activation/deactivation of genes in cancer cells.
How Much Resveratrol Is In Wine
In order to understand how much resveratrol is in wine, one must realize that resveratrol is a natural substance made by grapes and other plants in response to fungal infection. How much resveratrol is in a glass of wine depends, first, on whether the grapes were grown organically, and, second, how the wine was made. Grapes sprayed with pesticides that prevent fungal infection contain little, if any, resveratrol. Wines grown in dry climates have less resveratrol than those grown in humid areas. Red wines contain more than white because of how red wine is made. The end result of all of this is that organic red wines from certain areas of Europe contain the highest level of resveratrol. But most wines contain either no resveratrol at all, or very little (less than a milligram per glass).
The only sure way to obtain a certain amount of resveratrol daily is to take a standardized extract. Standardization ensures a consistent amount of resveratrol with consistent high quality. The finest resveratrol available comes from Europe. It is made from organic French grapes known for their high resveratrol content. The resveratrol is carefully extracted to retain other compounds (polyphenols) that naturally occur with it. This pharmaceutical wine extract is then enhanced with resveratrol extracted from the roots of a medicinal plant (Polygonnum cuspidatum) used for centuries in Asia for the treatment of inflammation, heart, blood vessel and liver disease, skin and lipid problems. The result is a product that retains the active parts of wine in a natural balance with increased potency and consistent quality.
The research on resveratrol is so voluminous that it’s not possible to cover it in one article. In addition to the benefits mentioned previously, resveratrol has been tested for its health benefit ability to stop pain, stop the growth of the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers that can lead to cancer, protect immune cells, protect DNA, protect against skin cancer, and many other conditions. As pointed out earlier, recently resveratrol became the first-ever supplement known to activate a longevity gene.
“Even a leading resveratrol researcher, Dr. David Sinclair at Harvard Medical School, is noted as taking a lower dosesage: 5 mg per kilogram — about 150 mg per day for the average adult”.
Proper Resveratrol dosage- currently most experts seem to agree that an effective resveratrol dosage for an average adult is anywhere from 150 to 300 mg of pure resveratrol.
Some resveratrol supplement pill products list the total amount of resveratrol, which can be 500 mg or more, but an actual amount of pure resveratrol could be a lot lower, maybe only 50 mg. Make sure you read the label carefully so that you are getting at least 150 mg of pure resveratrol.
Resveratrol Side effects
There have been no reported side effects but many potential side health benefits from resveratrol supplement pill product use.
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