Resveratrol possesses a wide range of potential benefits for overall human health. A number of scientific studies have been conducted with the purpose of looking into these potential benefits ever since the compound was first pinpointed by Dr. Serge Renaud during the early 90s in a study involving the "French Paradox."
In 2008, data from a study conducted by numerous researchers found that the effects may be linked to a form of diet known as caloric restriction. Caloric restriction is a dietary regimen that is designed to limit caloric intake. When not associated with malnutrition as an unintended side effect, it is believed to trigger a genetic response that promotes overall age-related health.
Later studies made by the Scuolo Normale Superiore in Italy confirmed that resveratrol mimics the effects of caloric restriction in various short-lived species. BIOMOL Research Laboratories also did a study that mirrors the above results in mice. The most prominent study into this potential benefits has been credited to Harvard University, which tested the benefits on a range of short-lived species, such as yeast, fish, and mice. Their data reported an average of 30% extension to the lifespan, even when the test subjects were given a high-fat diet.
Further research has revealed that resveratrol may have benefits that go beyond an extension of life. The compound may have further applications in the form of fighting cancer. Data obtained by the University of Illinois in Chicago showed that resveratrol may have been responsible for triggering anti-cancer genetic responses in the mice used for the tests. The testing showed that it functioned as an anti-oxidant and antimutagen, and induced activity in the cells that hindered the progress of leukemia cancer cells. An independent research team from Columbia University showed similar results for skin cells.
Patients of Alzheimer’s Disease may also benefit from resveratrol. Weill Medical College of Cornell University published the results of a study that looked into the potential use of resveratrol in Alzheimer’s patients. The research team did not detect the compound in the brain during the test period, but found that there was a significant reduction in plaque formation in various regions of the brain. These included a reduction of 48% in the medial cortex and 90% in the hypothalamus.
Laboratories have also performed tests on the safety of the use of resveratrol. The foremost among them was conducted by the Leicester Royal Infirmary in Leicester University. Their data reflected that single doses of up to five grams daily can be taken with no noticeable adverse effects on the subjects taking them.
There have also been queries regarding whether or not there is enough resveratrol found naturally in food to yield the potential benefits. Huntington University dedicated a study to answer this question. Their findings showed that, based on previously available lab results, resveratrol was not present enough in foods such as grapes, blueberries, and wine to compare with the doses used in other lab studies; hence the need for supplements to meet the desired dose.
BIOMOL Research Laboratories – Resveratrol appears to mimic the effects of a caloric restriction diet in sufficient doses. This diet has been found to prolong the life spans of a variety of test subjects, including yeast, short-lived varieties of tropical fish, and some species of fruit flies.
Scuola Normale Superiore – an Italian study found the first positive data that resveratrol can trigger the effects of a caloric restriction diet in a vertebrate. The effects include an increase in life span that appeared to have been dose-dependent. Other effects included delays in the age-related decay of motor activity and cognitive performance.
Department of Pathology, Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, Harvard Medical School – resveratrol was found to extend the lifespan of a diverse range of species and the effect was connected to SIRT1, a genetic marker triggered by caloric restriction. Data also showed that resveratrol triggering SIRT1 may also yield benefits in combating diabetes and other obesity-related disorders.
Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health – resveratrol was found to delay a number of age-related deterioration effects, and mimicked caloric restriction, though insufficient data was found to support an extension of lifespan.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago – resveratrol, after being purified, was shown to generate activity in cells that countered the effects of carcinogens.
Department of Dermatology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University – resveratrol has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, preventing the growth of a number of types of cancer cells.
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology; Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Huntington University – resveratrol was found to have anticarcinogenic properties, but naturally occurring concentrations were found to be in too small amounts to yield benefits for humans.
Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cell Biology – resveratrol was found to improve endurance in laboratory mice. Test data indicates that the effects are connected to the activation of the Sirtuin 1 gene.
Weill Medical College of Cornell University – resveratrol, used in dietary supplementation, was found to reduce plaque formation in animal brains. Plaque formation is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s and other neurological conditions.
Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester University – doses of trans-resveratrol in single doses of up to 5 grams were found to cause no adverse effects in healthy volunteers