Resveratrol12 years, 9 months ago
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to red wine. It is found in more than 70 species of plants, including mulberries and peanuts, however the main dietary source of resveratrol is wine as the compound is found in the skin of grapes.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to red wine. It is found in more than 70 species of plants, including mulberries and peanuts, however the main dietary source of resveratrol is wine as the compound is found in the skin of grapes. Both red and white wine are sources of resveratrol, although red wine contains significantly higher concentrations of the compound &emdash; mainly because of the way in which red wine is produced. Fresh grape skin contains roughly 50 to 100 micrograms of resveratrol per gram, while its concentration in red wine ranges from 1.5 to 3 milligrams per liter. For non-wine drinkers, reveratrol is available as a dietary supplement.
ROLE IN ANTI-AGING:
A number of scientific studies have found evidence to suggest that resveratrol is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Results of laboratory and animal studies have shown that it decreases the "stickiness" of blood platelets, thus reducing the risk of developing stroke or heart attack-inducing blood clots. Other studies have shown that it may help to prevent arteries from constricting, which may help to keep blood pressure under control. Results of both epidemiological and clinical studies also indicate that resveratrol is at least partially responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of red wine.
As well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, resveratrol is also thought to prevent both the development and progression of cancer. It has both antioxidant and antimutagenic properties and at least one study has shown that it boosts production of the enzyme quinone reductase, which is known to detoxify carcinogens. Resveratrol has also demonstrated ntiinflammatory effects in laboratory studies. Recent studies suggest that chronic inflammation may play an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer, thus regular consumption of an antiinflammatory compound like resveratrol, may help to protect against these diseases.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:Not applicable
THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:
As with most health-benefiting compounds it is better to obtain them from the diet, one 8- ounce glass of red wine contains roughly 640 mcg of resveratrol, whereas a handful of peanuts provides about 73 mcg. Packaging on resveratrol supplements generally recommends an intake of 200-600 mcg per day, however it should be noted that this is significantly less than doses used in animal studies to prevent cancer. The optimal intake level is yet to be established.
MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:Not established
SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:None known