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redwine_vResveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, is the reason doctors say a glass of wine a day can’t hurt you. And it can even help you with slowing the aging process. It has also been linked to health benefits ranging from helping with inflammation to encouraging cell growth.1

Even if you don’t drink, this toxin fighter isn’t just in red wine. It’s found in things we eat every day.

So what exactly is resveratrol (pronounced “ress-ver-a-trole”) and how can it help us?

Resveratrol: The Antioxidant That Put Wine On the Health Map

Resveratrol is an antioxidant that is found in wine, grapes, berries – including blueberries, cranberries, chocolate, and peanuts.2,3

But it’s mainly linked to wine—red wine specifically. Numerous studies have suggested that resveratrol is the reason why wine is believed to have health benefits.

Resveratrol has also been suggested as explanation to “the French Paradox.”

What’s “the French Paradox”?

The French Paradox is just the term given for the funny dietary phenomenon found in the French. Those individuals typically have diets high in fats due to a high intake of dairy, and some studies suggest that the intake of wine (resveratrol) could offset any negative health benefits.4

Resveratrol was first studied in 1940, so it’s not a new antioxidant, but studies are still being conducted today about its health benefits.5

What’s So Important About Resveratrol?

The big thing to know about resveratrol is that it has low bioavailability.6,7

And what is that exactly?

Bioavailability relates to the proportion of a substance that enters the circulation in the body and the quantity of its active effect.

So if resveratrol has low bioavailability, there would need to be a lot of the antioxidant in the circulation in order to make an impact.

Antioxidants like resveratrol are found in low amounts in the average diet. Low quantities of resveratrol are also found in wine, particularly in red wine, and have been the result of extensive studies conducted on the antioxidant and its properties.8

So what does this mean?

The studies on wine + resveratrol = benefits only go as far as its bioavailability. Meaning any health benefits from the antioxidant probably aren’t going to develop in an average diet. It is suggested that if wine is consumed with food, this might limit the body’s ability to absorb the antioxidant. Studies also show high concentrations of the antioxidant can occur if supplements are taken separately from meals.9

So, how do you get the benefits of resveratrol?

Resveratrol Studies on Bioavailability

One study found that resveratrol hit some high levels after giving patients single 25 mg oral doses of the antioxidant an hour after administration.10

Another study showed 40 patients given single ascending doses (doses given at .5 g, 1 g, 2.5 g and so on) of the antioxidant had peak resveratrol blood levels up to an hour and a half after administration.11

A single dose administration of 5 grams of resveratrol per day was found to raise the antioxidants’ levels in the blood, but it is suggested that a dose of 1 gram per day is safer and could still yield health benefits.12

So Why Should You Even Add Resveratrol To Your Diet?

17419957 - couple having dinner in a restaurantResveratrol isn’t just linked to a couple of glasses of wine a night.

Studies have suggested resveratrol can possibly help all kinds of health issues, from artery build-up to neurodegenerative conditions.13,14

Some of resveratrol’s important properties include:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Resveratrol is believed to promote cellular proliferation (kind of like cell growth) and stops apoptosis (cell death). It’s been linked to stopping enzymes that cause inflammation.15,16

  • Anti-Viral Properties

Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, the antioxidant is also considered to be anti-viral.17

Basically, the promotion of cell growth and the prevention of cell death are a huge plus here, as those roles can possibly help viruses from spreading within the body.

  • Anti-Aging Properties

Again, the whole cell growth + cell death thing? It’s also been linked to anti-aging effects as well. Resveratrol is believed to stop cell death, which could help slow the body’s appearance of aging, especially in the skin.18,19

Health Benefits Linked With Resveratrol

We’ve already shown you all of the healthy effects that resveratrol has been linked to in recent studies.

If that’s not enough, here are some health issues that have been studied directly with resveratrol supplementation.

Artery Build-Up Resveratrol has been suggested to help with symptoms linked to health problems within the body’s major arteries. By stopping inflammation and promoting cell growth, the antioxidant could possibly assist with lipid build up and more.20
Neurodegenerative Issues The antioxidant has been suggested to help with mental health issues by helping to break down important proteins, while stopping inflammation and cell death.21,22
Skin Health It has been suggested to help positive cell growth while possibly helping to protect the skin against harmful invasive agents, such as UV rays.23,24

Resveratrol Supplements

Supplements of resveratrol are abundant in most of today’s vitamin sections and shops. But what should you be taking?

The scientific and medical communities have suggested 1 g/day to tap into the antioxidants’ amazing health benefits.25

It is important to note that you should consult with your doctor, as long term consumption of  resveratrol supplements could possibly interfere with medications you already might already be taking.26

Resveratrol is similar in structure to estrogen, so it’s important to know what kind of effects the antioxidant supplement might have on your body beforehand.27

This isn’t cause for worry, though. Resveratrol supplements have been linked to helping with other health issues, such as insulin resistance.28

No significant adverse effects have been recorded from taking resveratrol supplements, but clinical trials are ongoing.29

Conclusion

With this many positive results, it’s worth the effort to check out resveratrol and how it could possibly help improve your health.

Whether it’s munching on a bowl of blueberries, having a glass of wine, or eating some peanuts, even the little amounts of resveratrol can add up.

The suggested properties of resveratrol, including its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties could help just combat a cold let alone some of the other issues the antioxidant is believed to help fight.

Adding supplements to your diet could help with even more health issues, but make sure to talk to your doctor about how it fits with your diet.

Sources
1Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
2 N B, BE J, Poljak A et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2016. Accessed October 28, 2016.
3Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
4Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
5N B, BE J, Poljak A et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2016. Accessed October 28, 2016.
6Claudine M. Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Ajcnnutritionorg. 2004.  Accessed October 28, 2016.
7N B, BE J, Poljak A et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2016. Accessed October 28, 2016.
8Claudine M., et al. Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Ajcnnutritionorg. 2004.  Accessed October 28, 2016.
9Claudine M., et al. Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Ajcnnutritionorg. 2004.  Accessed October 28, 2016.
10Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
11Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
12Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
13Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
14Schagen S, Zampeli V, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis C. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2012;4(3):298-307. doi:10.4161/derm.22876.
15N B, BE J, Poljak A et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2016. Accessed October 28, 2016.
16Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
17N B, BE J, Poljak A et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2016. Accessed October 28, 2016.
18Schagen S, Zampeli V, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis C. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2012;4(3):298-307. doi:10.4161/derm.22876.
19Bastianetto S, Dumont Y, Duranton A, Vercauteren F, Breton L, Quirion R. Protective Action of Resveratrol in Human Skin: Possible Involvement of Specific Receptor Binding Sites. PLoS ONE. 2010;5(9):e12935. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012935.
20Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
21N B, BE J, Poljak A et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2016. Accessed October 28, 2016.
22Schagen S, Zampeli V, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis C. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2012;4(3):298-307. doi:10.4161/derm.22876.
23Bastianetto S, Dumont Y, Duranton A, Vercauteren F, Breton L, Quirion R. Protective Action of Resveratrol in Human Skin: Possible Involvement of Specific Receptor Binding Sites. PLoS ONE. 2010;5(9):e12935. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012935.
24Matito C, Agell N, Sanchez-Tena S, Torres J, Cascante M. Protective Effect of Structurally Diverse Grape Procyanidin Fractions against UV-Induced Cell Damage and Death. J Agric Food Chem. 2011;59(9):4489-4495. doi:10.1021/jf103692a.
25Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
26Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
27Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
28Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.
29Higdon, Ph.D. J. Resveratrol. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. Accessed October 28, 2016.

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