Resveratrol is a strong antioxidant that can be acquired from grape skins, and in other plants, such as knotweed, fruits and seeds. It is produced by a variety of plants which they use for the purpose of defending themselves against invading fungi, possible detrimental effects of their immediate environment, infection and overexposure to sunlight. Currently, it is being studied in the interruption of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Resveratrol has also been linked to lower blood sugar levels and anti-inflammatory effects aside from its beneficial effects towards cancer prevention and cardiovascular benefits.
In the year 1991 in the United States, a show called 60 minutes proposed that significant consumption of red wine can actually decrease the incidence and the risks of developing cardiac diseases. Because of the show, consumption of red wine in the US increased dramatically and wineries began influencing and accommodating the idea that their wines should be labeled as “health products.”
This proposal was associated with the French Paradox with the recognition that French people have low cardiovascular disease risks considering their diet very rich in fats because of the incorporation of red wine in their meals. Much more recently, pharmaceutical companies began producing and selling Resveratrol supplements, through chemical synthesis, derived mainly from the Japanese knotweed.
Resveratrol, a type of phytoalexin, is also currently a topic of a lot of animal and human studies into its effects but so far, these studies only produced few positive results and its associated effects to the human body is still unclear. Most of the studies concerning Resveratrol were replicated much in animal studies. Some of which do not even share the idea of Resveratrol as a beneficial substance but there were also promising results. When it was introduced into certain short-lived fish species, nematodes and fruit flies they observed a significant increase in the lifespan, at least a little over 50% for the fish.
In an animal study in 1997, topical applications of Resveratrol in mice subjects prevented skin cancer but oral treatments don’t seem to produce positive changes or for any other types of cancer. Another change that was seen in mice subjects was their improved endurance in vigorous activities compared to non-treated mice subjects. Anti-inflammatory effects were also observed in several animal studies. One study suggested that intake of Resveratrol mimics the benefits of calorie restriction.
Despite the fact that the mechanism of action of Resveratrol is unknown, it still remains a very popular supplement . People mostly get Resveratrol from red wine but other sources such as nuts, peanut butter and red grapes do also contain significant amounts.
The benefits of Resveratrol may be inconclusive but people should embrace the idea that its consumption is not the only way to reach an optimal health level. What people should understand is that there’s so much more than just Resveratrol. Always remember to engage in a healthy lifestyle through good, consistent exercise, portioned, well-balanced meals and adequate sleep and relaxation.