What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a flavonol belonging to the group of flavonoids. It is produced by the plant as a defence against diseases.
Resveratrol is present in many plants and fruits, including red grapes, eucalyptus, spruce, blueberries, mulberries, peanuts, giant knotweed. Also red wine contains a lot of it. The longer the grape juice is fermented with the grape skins the higher the resveratrol content will be.
Health Benefits of Resveratrol
Resveratrol is an antioxidant but its antioxidant properties are weaker that those of quercetin and epicatechin. It has anticancer properties and inhibits lipid peroxidation of low-density lipoprotein and prevents the cytotoxicity of oxidized LDL. Resveratrol also increases the activity of some antiretroviral drugs in vitro.
In vitro studies have shown that resveratrol inhibits the oxidative damage caused by the heavy metal cadmium. The antioxidant activity of resveratrol reduces damage to endothelial cells exposed to nitrite radicals and protects skin cells against damage caused by UV radiation.
The antioxidant action of resveratrol helps to prevent damage to DNA but it also influences the transcriptions of genes responsible for redox metabolism and inhibits proliferartion of cancer cells. Resveratrol appears to decrease tumor promotion activity by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase-1, which converts arachidonic acid to substances that promote tumor growth. In vitro experiments provide support for resveratrol to serve as a candidate preventive agent against prostate cancer, but in vivo effects of resveratrol and the mechanisms of action of resveratrol on prostate cancer prevention remain largely unknown.
Benefits for diabetes
Resveratrol may be benificial for diabetes. Administration of resveratrol may protect against oxidative damage caused by high glucose levels. It also reduces diabetic neuropathic pain.
Resveratrol protects our heart and blood vessels by directly scavenging oxidants, which could cause oxidation of lipids, and by preventing apoptosis of endothelial cells. It may also help to prevent heart damage after a cardiac arrest. Reduced platelet aggregation has been attributes to resveratrol, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Increase of lifespan
Tests with animals have shown that that high food intake reduces lifespan. One study showed that resveratrol was able to able to increase the life span of mice on a high calorie diet.
Many studies on animals have shown antitoxic effects of resveratrol. Resveratrol was able to reverse damages caused by the administration of the chemotherapeutic drug bleomycin. Resveratrol also helped to reduce brain damage and oxidative damage of the liver during ethanol intoxication. It also reduced kidney damage of rats treated with the antibiotic gentamicin.
Facts about Resveratrol
Resveratrol explains partly the French Paradox: the low incidence of heart disease among French people, who eat relatively a lot of unhealthy fat but drink resveratrol containing red wine.
Resveratrol Promotes Clearance of Alzheimer's Disease
Resveratrol Inhibits TNF-alpha?Induced Proliferation and Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression in Human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells