A decade’s worth of scientific studies suggests that red wine is a contributor to good health. In moderate quantities, research has found that red wine can potentially promote long-term heart health. Supporting this is the well known paradoxical phenomenon of the French diet, where, despite consuming typically high-fat food, the French have a low instance of heart disease. This has been theorized to be attributed to the high-consumption of red wine as part of their daily diet.
One of the reasons behind this theory is a natural compound found in red wine called resveratrol. Tests have shown it to be present in high concentrations in grape skins, which are used in the fermentation process of red wine. ..MORE.
Resveratrol has been claimed by some researchers to potentially be responsible for the positive effects that red wine has on cardiovascular health.
Scientists, intrigued by this prospect, have performed a number of tests on extracted resveratrol – separate from the other components of wine – and the results have been promising. Tests on resveratrol conducted by the Harvard University produced data that indicates resveratrol has the potential to expand lifespan by up to 30% and reduce the risk of death caused by high-fat diets. Independent lab studies in Spain reported that resveratrol may even aid in the prevention of certain types of cancers. Further research indicated that resveratrol might also possibly trigger genes that boost the metabolism, enhance endurance, and improve tissue maintenance.
Hundreds of studies are being conducted globally to confirm initial results and to discover the other potential benefits of resveratrol. As scientists are still in the process of confirming results on human subjects, it is safe to say that although resveratrol is present in red wine, you may need to drink ‘as much as the French’ to gain a minuscule of the potential benefits gained from resveratrol.
How, then, can we achieve the possible health benefits seen in laboratory tests? The answer is by taking resveratrol in supplement form. In just one capsule, you can ingest as much resveratrol as you would find in 400 bottles of red wine!
Widely known as a constituent of red wine, resveratrol can also be found in over 70 plant species including nuts, grapes, pine trees, certain berries, and many others. Certain dark varieties of berries like mulberries and cranberries also contain high levels of resveratrol. The Japanese knotweed, a type of herbaceous perennial plant native to eastern Asia, is an excellent, concentrated source of resveratrol. The resveratrol used to produce health supplements is typically refined from Japanese knotweed.
Researchers have long been examining the beneficial properties of resveratrol. In 2003, Harvard Medical School researchers who were conducting animal studies found promising evidence that resveratrol may help slow down the aging process. The experiment showed that resveratrol could possibly prolong lifespan by 30 to 60%. Resveratrol also gave extra resistance against Huntington’s disease, an incurable neurological disease.
Several other studies in the US and Europe over the past decade also suggested resveratrol as a powerful antioxidant. In one study, the addition of resveratrol to vitamin C and vitamin E increased protection against oxidative stress, which has been linked to poor skin health.
Traditional Asian medicine, meanwhile, has been using resveratrol for centuries to treat conditions like high blood pressure and hypertension. Herbologists gather concentrated resveratrol from the roots of Japanese knotweed.
Resveratrol has become such a popular natural supplement that even influential celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey have endorsed it as a must-try product. Various diets have also been created around resveratrol, all focusing on its potentially rejuvenating powers.
It has been discovered that foods with some of the highest concentrations of resveratrol are purple and red-skinned grapes. But it is important to note that even in the same type of grape, the resveratrol content varies based on a number of factors such as where the grapes are grown. For instance, grapes grown in cool weather have a greater likelihood of containing more resveratrol than grapes grown in warmer weather.
Plants grown “organically” are typically more resveratrol-rich because they do not benefit from disease and insect protection provided by fungicides and pesticides; as a result, they tend to be more “hardy” and richer in resveratrol.
Studies suggest that resveratrol may be effective to some degree in:
Take advantage of all the potential health benefits that resveratrol can give you. Before you know it, this all-natural compound may give you that healthy glow you’ve always wanted and add some bounce to your step.
Resveratrol is a naturally-occurring polyphenolic compound that is found in a variety of plants, including grapes, berries like blueberries, mulberries and cranberries, nuts, and Japanese knotweed—reputed to have the most concentrated form of the chemical. Numerous scientific studies have shed light on its health benefits, including its potential to assist in weight loss, to help slow down aging and prolong lifespan, and to aid in fighting off chronic diseases like cancer.
This chemical compound can be found in two forms: Trans-Resveratrol and Cis-Resveratrol. Both being Resveratrol, these two forms carry the same health benefits. The main difference between the two comes is in their geometric isomers. This means that the compound, regardless of form, has the same components but is structured in different ways.
Trans-Resveratrol has been found to be more chemically stable and more easily absorbed by the human body. Chemical stability and ease of absorption means that more of the Trans-Resveratrol makes it into the bloodstream to yield its benefits. Although Cis-Resveratrol has the same benefits, it has lower chemical stability and this means that the body breaks it down faster. As such, it may be less effective on a per-dose basis.
A study by the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California tested the chemical stability of Trans-Resveratrol and Cis-Resveratrol and found that “Trials conducted under a variety of commonly encountered laboratory conditions show that trans-resveratrol is stable for months, except in high-pH buffers, when protected from light. cis-Resveratrol was stable only near pH neutrality when completely protected from light.”
In the case of supplements, Trans-Resveratrol may be the better option between the two. Since it is more stable and more readily absorbed, the body is able to acquire Trans-Resveratrol’s maximum benefits.