Resveratrol –a wonder compound
Getting to know the compound ‘Resveratrol’ is quite interesting, as it holds the key to the secret of ‘graceful aging’. It has been identified as the root cause of the ‘French paradox’. If you have never heard of the French Paradox, it is the observation that French people consume creamy pastries, sauces and high saturated fats and still manage to have a healthier heart than people from other cultures – that is, they have a low incidence of heart diseases. Research shows that consumption of red wine is the probable explanation. Red wine is produced using the skin of red grapes which is rich with Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant required for restoring and preserving good health. (Wein 2013)
What is Resveratrol?
It is a polyphenol produced from plants. Polyphenols are a group of micronutrient compounds which protect against diseases. Resveratrol is produced from plants in response to any injury, stress, fungal infection or UV exposure (Higdon 2015). It is an antioxidant also known as ‘phytoalexin’. Resveratrol, when consumed, can provide a very effective protection to humans as well.
How Resveratrol works?
In the past decade, Resveratrol has been added to the list of effective nutritional supplements. Scientists have continued researching how Resveratrol works in the body and keeps the body younger and healthier. In short it is an antioxidant, it does what an antioxidant does and protects the body against the harmful effects of free radicals. These free radical are responsible for all the damage to the body that one can think of, with one major fallout being premature aging.
When the body undergoes any kind of stress, it triggers ‘oxidative stress’ with the generation of these ‘free radicals’ leading to a negative impact on the body (Skerrett 2012)
Having mentioned that, let’s clarify that not all antioxidants are the same. What makes Resveratrol the ‘best dressed’ antioxidant is the mechanism by which it protects the body. The added attraction is that it also promotes the normal process of cell division and relieves inflammation which causes signs of premature aging.
The link between mitochondria, aging and Resveratrol
‘Mitochondria’ is an organelle in the cell, also known as the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell. It even contains some DNA and produces ATP (adenosine triphosphate) as a result of the respiratory chain. ATP are the energy shots for the body, and all the functions in the body require energy produced by this ATP. Mitochondrial DNA is affected largely by free radicals. Mitochondrial DNA mutations are responsible for many diseases and most profoundly the appearance of the signs of aging. Damage to mitochondria results in sudden cell death, but by slowing down aging of mitochondria through calorie restriction and exercise, all body aging can be slowed down (Chistiakov 2014).
So, what is all this fuss about mitochondrial DNA? The link here is that Resveratrol has been found to protect the body from the damaging effects of a high fat diet. High caloric food ultimately damages mitochondria and we end up with premature aging, and Resveratrol can neutralize all these effects and restore youthfulness of the body . (Mattison 2014) Read that again – Resveratrol CAN neutralize the effects of aging and restore youth!
Resveratrol and premature aging
Premature aging occurs mainly due to one or more of these 4 factors: a weak immune system, poor digestive system, inflammation and/or oxidative stress. Resveratrol acts on at least 3 of these factors to reduce the signs of premature aging – the immune system, inflammation and oxidative stress.
Other remarkable health benefits of Resveratrol
More than 4,400 studies have been published discussing the positive effects of Resveratrol on our health, with anti-aging benefits just the tip of the iceberg. Adding to this, Resveratrol is known to:
- activate a survival gene (Sirtuin 1) in the brain
- facilitate the connections between the brain cells, and
- suppresses age-related memory decline (Markus 2008)
Here is short list of why you should be taking a Resveratrol supplement, and what it does:
- a powerful heart health protectant, known to protect against cardiac diseases and promote the restoration of blood flow in hypertensive patients.
- protects the inner lining of arteries (endothelium) by oxidative damage and also keeps the normal production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is responsible for the dilation of arteries which maintains the blood flow.
- protects the body against inflammatory agents and boosts the immune system.
- found effective in maintaining dental health as well as mental health, and helps maintain muscle health.
- suppresses cancer by interfering with the division of cancer cells and increasing cancerous cell death.
- protects against obesity, diabetes, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and can reduce chances of blood clotting.
- can increase the production of a serum (Sirtuin 1), the serum that speeds up the energy producing mitochondria and ultimately blocks certain diseases
- found effective against treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Sources of Resveratrol
Resveratrol is present in some fruits and vegetables, and of course it is in the skin of red grapes, but the most effective and absolute way to ensure your body has the Resveratrol it needs to combat aging and the associated breakdown of the immune system is to take a quality supplement each day.
Dosage and how to get maximum from your resveratrol?
The recommended daily intake of Resveratrol is 250 mg. If red wine is considered the source, about 170 standard glasses of red wine contain ‘almost’ the recommended amount. It is obviously far healthier and more economical – although perhaps less interesting – to take a daily supplement from a reliable source.
It is not only a potential ‘anti-aging’ agent which will reduce fine lines, wrinkles and make you ‘look’ younger, you WILL feel younger. It protects your entire body, including your brain, from the ill effects of aging by repairing and buffering mitochondrial damage.
- Wein H. (2013) How Resveratrol May Fight Aging National Institutes of Health
- Higdon J. (2005) and reviewed by Espin HC (2015) Resveratrol Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University
- Skerrett PJ, (2012), Resveratrol-the hype continues. Harvard Medical School Harvard Health Publications
- FREE PDF: Chistiakov DA, Obenin IA, Evin VV, Ekhov AN,Obryshev YV (2014) Mitochondrial Aging and Age-Related Dysfunction of Mitochondria BioMed Research International Volume 2014, Article ID 238463
- Mattison A. (2014) Resveratrol prevents high fat/sucrose diet-induced central arterial wall inflammation US National Library of Medicine 2014 Jul 1; 20(1): 183-9
- Markus A, Morris BJ (2008) Resveratrol in prevention and treatment of common clinical conditions of aging US National Library of Medicine 2008 Jun; 3(2): 331–339.
- Castillo M. (2013) Resveratrol does provide anti-aging benefits CBS News