Resveratrol is a compound largely found in skin of red grapes. It is a component of an oriental medicine, ko-jo-kon, which is mainly used to treat diseases, associated with blood vessels, liver and heart. This essential nutrient gained widespread attention during the mid-1990s as a possible explanation for “French Paradox” – the reduced incidences of heart diseases amongst the French people who consumed a relatively high-fat diet. Ever since then resveratrol has been touted by the scientific researchers as a powerful antioxidant and phytoestrogen.
Getting Enough Of This Nutrient
Although, present in plant sources, such as lily, eucalyptus and spruce and food sources, such as peanuts and mulberries, the richest sources of resveratrol includes, muscadine grapes, Vitis vinifera and labrusca, which are the common varieties used for wine preparations. It is found in the roots, stalks and seeds, but the richest source of resveratrol are the skin that contains around 50 micrograms to 100 micrograms of this nutrient per gram.
As stated earlier, resveratrol is a phytoalexin, which is defined as a class of antibiotic compounds that are produced as a result of plant’s defense mechanism against various diseases. For instance, resveratrol is synthesized by malonyl CoA and p-coumaroyl CoA from the plants to fight away the invading fungus. Also, as fungal infections are common incidences in colder regions, so grapes produced in colder regions are supposed to have higher resveratrol concentrations.
Today, you can avail the many benefits of resveratrol uses in the form of resveratrol supplements. Here again, you can opt for sole resveratrol supplement or supplements that offer resveratrol in combination with other essential vitamins and minerals. You can also explore the many resveratrol health benefits in the form of skin creams.
The labels of most of the resveratrol supplements available in the market show that the supplements contain 20 to 500 mg of resveratrol per serving. However, the purity level of all these resveratrol supplements is not known and as there is no strict regulation for dietary supplements, so you should not assume the labeled dosage to be accurate.
Understanding The Resveratrol Health Benefits
Resveratrol may help in expanding the blood vessels and it may also serve to limit the activity of the cells required for blood clotting. According to various studies, it has been revealed that resveratrol may also help in decreasing inflammation. And though resveratrol uses are many, the key benefits of this nutrient include –
- Cardiovascular Health Benefits Of Resveratrol
Research suggests that consumption of alcohol, especially red wine, may actually reduce the incidences of coronary heart diseases. Here, it should be noted that most of the resveratrol health benefits are due to its powerful antioxidant properties. Also, it is widely being claimed that as resveratrol contains highly lipophilic and hydrophilic properties, so it may prove much more effective in providing cardiovascular protection than other common antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. On the other hand, resveratrol is less potent than the antioxidants epicatechin and quercetin, which is found in red wine. Lowered platelet aggregation has been observed in studies based on resveratrol, which can help prevent atherosclerosis. It should however be noted that there are still not enough evidences to draw practical conclusions about resveratrol health benefits.
- Anti- Aging Effects
According to laboratory tests performed on mice, increased survival and reduced incidences of several diseases and other conditions associated with aging were revealed. Results to these studies, however, are still contradictory. Positive results have been found in mice that were fed low-calorie and high-fat diet. In 2009, after reviewing the studies conducted on animals, the highly respected Medical Studies concluded that resveratrol does produce the same effects as are produced by calorie restricted diet, which have reduced the incidence of age-related diseases in animal. However, whether it has any of these benefits in humans still has to be established.
Resveratrol Uses – Staying Cautious
Although, various laboratory tests have concluded that resveratrol may prove beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases, there are still a number of reasons as to why its increasing demand is premature.
- The research conducted on resveratrol uses has mostly been for short-term and has been performed in vitro and not on human models.
- There is no clear insight upon absorption and clearance of resveratrol, its effect on metabolic processes as well as liver.
- Red wine is its main dietary source. This means, not only is its concentration in red wine variable, but consuming too much of red wine to boost your resveratrol levels could certainly do more harm than good.