For decades, people have speculated on the benefits of indulging in a glass of red wine a day. Daily consumption of the beverage has been linked with good heart health and more. Despite its known benefits, people were still uncertain what exactly there was in wine that caused all the positive effects. Antioxidants are being pinpointed as one of the primary reasons why wine is good for the heart and of all the antioxidants found in wine; resveratrol seems to stand out as being the most beneficial one.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is an antioxidant classified a non-flavonoid. It is produced naturally when certain plants are attacked by fungi or bacteria, as is what occurs during fermentation. It can be found wine and in other food products. Resveratrol is also sold as a nutritional supplement. In nature, resveratrol is found in the skin or red grapes used to make red wine.
When used on rats, resveratrol showed an ability to decrease blood sugar levels and was also found to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. The chemical also showed anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. In other experiments, use of the drug has help extend the lifespan of flies and nematode worms. There is growing evidence of resveratrol ability to extend life by providing many of the same benefits one get with calorie restriction, a proven method of extending life expectancy.
Aside from wine, resveratrol is also found in peanuts and in peanut products such as peanut butter. Studies have shown that ounce for ounce, peanuts have about half the resveratrol found in red wine. Resveratrol has also been found in other food items such as blueberries, bilberries, cranberry and grape juice are also known to contain resveratrol, but at smaller amounts than those found in red wine and peanuts.
What makes Resveratrol effective?
The reason behind why resveratrol is effective at maintaining heart health is not clear. Most of its positive properties are being associated with the fact that it is an antioxidant. So far, human studies involving resveratrol only showed positive effect when the chemical was used in high dosages. Most of the clinical studies that showed a positive result were done in rats.
Resveratrol is a very hyped product which boasts of a lot of health benefits. Some of the most common health benefits associated with resveratrol use and supplementation include:
• Improved Cardiac Health
• Cancer prevention
• Improved Blood Sugar Control
• Offsets affects of high calorie diets
• Anti-Aging properties
As previously noted, resveratrol is also considered an antioxidant and as an antioxidant resveratrol is touted by advocates as having the following effects on the human body:
• Helps removes wrinkles, prevents the oxidation of the skin thus slowing down the aging process.
• Promotes the detoxification of muscle and fat tissues.
• Helps increase the bodyís metabolism, which in turn is said to encourage weight loss.
Resveratrol has also been shown to help prolong the life of nematodes and flies. In studies with mice, resveratrol has also shown to counteract the negative effects of a high fat diet. Further studies in elderly mice has shown that it has many positive antioxidant effects but that it didnít affect the animalís lifespan.
How to Use
When used as a nutritional supplement, consumers should only take the amount as directed by the manufacturers. If supplementation is prescribed by a medical practitioner, it is important to follow the dosing directions properly and to not take more than what was ordered. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when taking nutritional supplements such as resveratrol.
• Avoid taking the supplement when allergic to the supplement and its components
• Cease use of supplement and seek medical help when symptoms of an allergic reaction occurs. These symptoms include itchiness, hives, difficulty breathing, swollen tongue, and swollen lips.
• Be cautious of using supplements with other drugs
When consuming red wine in order to reap the benefits of resveratrol. It is important to limit wine intake to a glass a day.Excessive alcohol intake can be harmful to the body and may cause more damage than what resveratrol can do positively. In addition, some health care providers debate whether non-alcohol drinkers should start drinking wine in order to get to the resveratrol. Wine should also not be given to kids and teens.
Grape juice is also considered a source of resveratrol.When using grape juice for resveratrol supplementation, it is important to watch the sugar content of the juice as too much sugar, like alcohol, can also be harmful. Peanuts can provide resveratrol whether they are eaten raw, boiled, or in peanut butter form. Blueberries also have higher levels of resveratrol when eaten raw.
Consumers who are cautious about taking resveratrol should discuss its health pros and cons with a healthcare professional.
There are still no solid proof of resveratrolís positive effect on humans. This, however, has not stopped manufacturers and consumers alike from producing and purchasing resveratrol supplements. Some who have used supplementation have given the product positive reviews, while others have stopped using supplements due to the lack of results.
In addition to the unproven positive effects of resveratrol, ttere are some groups who are concerned about the possible side effects of resveratrol and resveratrol supplementation use.
A study has theorized that the chemical may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells in humans. It is believed to be so because of resveratrolís similar structure to the hormone phytoestrogen. There are, however, contradicting studies, which claim that resveratrol actually fights breast cancer.
Others suggest side effects of resveratrol include that it may interfere with the action of contraceptive drugs. There conflicting studies that debate as to whether or not resveratrol should be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children.
Where to Buy
Resveratrol supplements derived from Japanese Knotweed or grapes are available in specialty health food stores. Some online stores may also carry resveratrol nutritional supplements. Resveratrol is also found in red wine and in certain foods. Resveratrol fans advocate the daily intake of a glass of red wine in order o benefit from the positive effects of resveratrol on the body.
|Posted on October 5, 2010, 8:05 pm|