What is Resveratrol & How can it Benefit Your Health?

What is Resveratrol & How can it Benefit Your Health?

Interest in resveratrol research took off when it was identified as a component in red wine that may be partly responsible for the “French Paradox,” the ability to eat a higher fat diet with less heart disease than Americans. Research shows that resveratrol helps your liver metabolize fat and helps break down stored fat contained in your white adipose tissue.

Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol known as a stilbenoid, which is produced in grapes and blueberries to protect themselves from bacterial and fungal infection, and to a lesser extent from UV radiation. It was discovered that grapes growing in damp and moldy areas had the highest content of resveratrol of any known commonly consumed food/beverage. Resveratrol is obviously a potent anti-fungal compound and antioxidant.

Resveratrol is a different compound than the flavonoid proanthocyanidins of grape seed extracts, which also contribute to the notion of the French Paradox. Blueberries, by comparison, also contain flavonoids and a different stilbenoid called pterostilbene (pronounced “tero-STILL- bean”).
Significant research at the USDA has shown that pterostilbene has a powerful ability to influence the metabolism of cholesterol and the synthesis of triglycerides by improving metabolism within cells, as well as providing brain-protecting anti-aging properties.

How Much Resveratrol
Is In A Bottle
Of Wine?

The amount of resveratrol in a bottle of red wine varies from 2 mg to 14 mg, mostly on the lower side. Dietary supplements of resveratrol are typically derived from the roots of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), a far more economical source than grapes. Doses will range from a basic protective dose of a few milligrams (like a bottle of red wine), up to 100 mg per serving or more (a therapeutic dose). It is readily absorbed, reaching peak blood levels in 30 minutes, and then rather rapidly cleared by your liver. Thus, it is better to spread out intake during the day than take a large amount all at once.

At this point, other than the colorful history and longevity benefits associated with red wine consumption, the majority of the extensive resveratrol research has been carried out with cell studies and small animals. The implications of this research are mind-boggling, clearly showing significant extension of life span.

The Fat-Burning &
Anti-Aging Properties of

SIRT1 first drew attention as the primary gene signal involved with the longevity benefits of calorie restriction. A very simple explanation is that when you are in a food scarcity situation, SIRT1 is activated so as to help break down your stored fat to use as fuel as well as to boost up your energy so that you have enough energy to hunt for new food. SIRT1 is part of a famine-related survival system.

Many experiments with animals show that by restricting calorie intake SIRT1 is naturally activated, a finding that goes along with a noticeably extended lifespan, better fat and cholesterol metabolism, more efficient immune function, and better cardiovascular health. A number of humans have taken up calorie restriction experiments on themselves, and pictures of them do not portray the portrait of health. In fact, you would be hard pressed to pick out of a line-up someone on a self-induced calorie restriction diet and someone coming in for anorexia treatment. Which gets to my point, what is the difference between a calorie restriction diet and anorexia?


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REFERENCE : Modified article from http://www.wellness resources. com/tips/ articles/

Resveratrol and quercetin, the primary small molecules under study, concentrated in red wine and also found in other botanical sources, exhibit the wide range of biological activity researchers are searching for.  The biological action of resveratrol is so profoundly broad that one group of researchers said: “Ask not what resveratrol can do, ask what it cannot do.”  Researchers at the University of Illinois state that “resveratrol holds great promise for future development as a chemopreventive agent that may be useful for several disorders.”  [Annals N Y Academy Sciences 2002 May; 957: 210-29]  Another research report describes resveratrol’s effects as so overwhelming that it exerts “a whiff that induces a biologically specific tsunami.” [Cancer Biology Therapy 2004 Sep; 3(9):889-90]
So the curious public can gain some insight into the enthusiasm medical researchers have for red wine molecules, the following chart has been produced to document some of the remarkable biological activity of resveratrol.  Here is the list:


Biological action Reference
Preserves or stimulates superoxide dismutase (antioxidant) J Agriculture Food Chemistry 2005 May 18; 53(10):4182-6;
Free Radical Biology Medicine 2003 Apr 1; 34(7):810-7
Elevates glutathione (antioxidant) J Agric Food Chem. 2005 May 18; 53 (10):4182-6;
Archives Biochemistry Biophysics 2000 Sep 15; 381 (2):253-63
Elevates catalase activity (antioxidant) Life Science 2003 May 2; 72 (24):2741-50
Prolongs life of cells via Sirtuin 1 gene Trends Pharmacological Sciences 2005; 26: 94-103
Anti-histamine action (allergy) Planta Medica 2004 Apr;70(4):305-9.
Anti-inflammatory agent J Chemotherapy 2004 Nov;16 Suppl 4:3-6;
J Environ Pathology Toxicology Oncology 2004; 23(3):215-26
COX-2 inhibitor (anti-inflammatory) Inflammation Research 2005 Apr; 54(4):158-62
Potentially helpful for rheumatoid arthritis International Immunopharmacology 2005 May;5(5):849-56
Inhibits pancreatitis World J Gastroenterology 11: 3171-74, 2005
Promotes DNA repair (via Sirtuin 1 gene) Nature 2003 Sep 11; 425 (6954):191-6
Inhibits abnormal new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) J Physiology Pharmacology 2005 Mar;56 Suppl 1:51-69
Inhibits dietary sugar absorption Journal Natural Products 2001; 64: 381-84
Regulates blood sugar J Agric Food Chemistry 2005 May 4; 53(9):3403-7
Normalizes blood pressure J Hypertension 2000 Dec; 18(12):1833-40
ACE Inhibitor properties European J Pharmacology 2005 May 16; 515(1-3):1-9
Prevents blood clots Blood Coagulation Fibrinolysis 2004 Sep;15(6):441-6
Reduces LDL cholesterol Life Sciences 2003 Aug 1; 73(11):1393-400
Reduces triglycerides Life Sciences 2003 Aug 1; 73(11):1393-400
Raises HDL “good” cholesterol J Agric Food Chemistry 2005 May 4; 53(9):3403-7
Calms effects of estrogen (estrogen blocker) J Steroid Biochemical Mol Biology 2005 Apr;94(5):431-43
Prevents bone loss J Medicinal Food 2005 Spring;8(1):14-9
Protects retinal cells (retinal pigment epithelium) Chemical Biological Interaction 2005 Jan 15;151(2):143-9
Increases sperm count J Nutrition 2005 Apr;135(4):757-60
Inhibits viral growth (influenza) J Infectious Disease 2005 May 15; 191 (10):1719-29
Inhibits viral growth (HIV) J Pharm Science 2004 Oct; 93 (10):2448-57
Inhibits viral growth (herpes) Antiviral Research 2004 Jan;61(1):19-26; 1999 Oct;43(3):145-55
Antibiotic against bacteria (Chlamydia) Atherosclerosis 2003 Dec;171(2):379-80
Antibiotic against bacteria (H. pylori) Am J Gastroenterology 2003 Jun;98(6):1440-1
Inhibits growth of fungi (yeast, mold) J Agriculture Food Chemistry 2003 Feb 26;51(5):1464-8
Inhibits initiation of tumors Proc Natl Sci Counc Repub China B. 1999 Jul;23(3):99-106
Inhibits growth of tumors Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1999;25(2-3):65-77.
Inhibits spread of tumors Proc Natl Sci Council Repub China B. 1999 Jul;23(3):99-106
Protects brain cells Ann N Y Academy Sciences 2003 May;993:276-86
Inhibits hepatitis (liver inflammation) Hepatogastroenterology 2002 Jul-Aug;49(46):1102-8
Eradicates plaque in brain (beta amyloid toxicity) British J Pharmacology 2004 Mar;141 (6):997-1005
Chelates metals (copper) Biochem Pharmacology 1997 May 9; 53(9):1347-55
Anti-leukemia agent Leukemia Lymphoma 2002 May;43(5):983-7
Inhibits prostate cancer Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention 2005 Mar;14(3):596-604
Inhibits breast cancer Molecular Nutrition Food Research 2005 May;49(5):462-71
Inhibits melanoma Neoplasia 2005 Jan;7(1):37-47
Inhibits liver cancer World J Gastroenterology 2003 Oct;9(10):2341-3
Inhibits brain cancer Molecular Cancer Therapy 2005 Apr;4(4):554-61
Inhibits pancreatic cancer Pancreas 2002 Nov;25(4):e71-6
Inhibits kidney cancer Cancer Biology Therapy 2004 Sep; 3(9):882-8
Inhibits colon cancer International J Cancer. 2005 Jun 10;115(2):194-201
Inhibits ovarian and cervical cancer Anticancer Res. 2004 Sep-Oct;24(5A):2783-840.
Inhibits lymphoma Cancer Letters 2001 Feb 10;163(1):43-9
Non-toxic J Nutrition 2002 Feb;132(2):257-60