The purported health benefits of drinking a glass of red wine a night, may in fact hold more truth than you think. Research has shown that grapes contain a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, which may positively impact cognitive function, heart health, and slow the aging process. We’re going to talk more about the benefits of resveratrol and how this powerful antioxidant can impact your health.
What Is Resveratrol
Resveratrol is classified as polyphenol and belongs to a class of polyphenolic compounds called stilbenes. Polyphenols are organic compounds primarily found in plants. They compromise a wide family of molecules bearing one or more phenolic rings. A growing body of research indicates that polyphenols may play a vital role in health through the regulation of metabolism, weight, chronic disease, and cell proliferation. Studies show that polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could have preventative and or therapeutic effects on cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and obesity [R].
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Resveratrol is rich within grape skins, seeds, and berries. Grape skins are included within the fermentation process of wine, therefore, red wine is rich with resveratrol. Although human clinical research is limited, preliminary evidence shows that resveratrol boasts several health benefits.
Could Have Anti-Aging Effects
Like other antioxidants, resveratrol contains several protective qualities. Antioxidants protect your body from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Researchers believe oxidative stress could be responsible for age-related cellular damage, helping protect and slow the aging process. Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of resveratrol, it is believed that it can help from cellular damage.
May Support Heart Health
Research has shown that antioxidants and polyphenols can help promote heart function and protect from cardiovascular disease. Several studies have found that Resveratrol influences and reduces blood lipid concentration and cholesterol levels [R].
A triple-blind randomized controlled trial found administered 350mg of resveratrol extract to 75 patients for six months, grape extract (with no resveratrol), or placebo and found that the resveratrol groups LDL had gone down by 4.5% and their oxidized LDL had gone down by 20% compared to participants who took an unenriched grape extract or a placebo [R].
May Improve Cognitive Health
Resveratrol has many neuroprotective effects and has been shown to aid in neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Evidence suggests that resveratrol’s protective effects are not limited to only the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity but also improved mitochondrial functions [R].
Protecting from age-related neurodegenerative disease, can help sustain better memory, motor function, and cognitive functioning.
May Have Anti-Cancer Benefits
Resveratrol has been studied in a multitude of degrees within cancer research. Some compounds are not found to be carcinogenetic until metabolized by the body. Resveratrol inhibits the expression and activity of certain cytochrome P450 enzymes and could help prevent cancer by limiting the activation of procarcinogen [R]. Resveratrol has also been found to induce cell cycle arrest and/or apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a number of cancer cell lines [R]. This ultimately means that resveratrol may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells the basis for how cancer evolves.
Resveratrol Benefits: Takeaway
Supplementing with resveratrol may help with mitigating age-related disease and promote a healthy aging process. Studies have shown that resveratrol may have powerful anti-cancer benefits, promote cardiovascular health, and improve cognitive function. More evidence is needed to confirm these findings, and support resveratrol for the therapeutic use as a prophylactic treatment in age-related disease states. According to the French, a glass of red wine a day, keeps the doctor away
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