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What Is Resveratrol And How Does It Protect You From Diseases?

Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound that is found in certain plants, including the skins of red grapes and is available as a dietary supplement.

It is widely recognized for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can contribute to various health benefits, such as:

Resveratrol has been associated with potential anti-ageing effects, as it has been shown to activate certain genes involved in promoting longevity and decreasing age-related changes in animal models.1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Antioxidant powers of resveratrol

The importance of resveratrol in health lies in its range of biological activities. As an antioxidant, it helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to chronic diseases. Its anti-inflammatory effects can reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and potentially improve conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Studies also suggest that resveratrol can improve brain blood flow, and insulin sensitivity, and may be protective against conditions like obesity and diabetes through its action on various metabolic pathways.1, 2, 3, 6

How to maintain good levels of resveratrol?

There are various sources of resveratrol, including red wine, although the amount in red wine is quite low, and we would not recommend relying on alcoholic drinks as a source of beneficial compounds.

Most supplements derive resveratrol from Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). There are two forms of resveratrol: cis-resveratrol and trans-resveratrol, with trans-resveratrol being more bioactive and clinically beneficial. However, it's worth noting that despite promising results in animal studies, there is still a lack of extensive research on resveratrol's effects in humans, and its mechanism may involve more than just antioxidant activity, including the activation of sirtuin activity.7, 8

Nutritional recommendations suggest that while it may not be practical to obtain high levels of resveratrol through diet alone (with red wine providing only around 1 mg per glass), supplements can be an option. The standard doses for resveratrol supplements are typically between 250 and 600 mg per day, although some studies have used doses as high as 1–2 grams per day. It is also advisable to check supplement labels for bioavailability, as resveratrol is rapidly metabolized in the body.4, 9

Possible precautions regarding resveratrol supplementation

However, there are precautions to consider. Resveratrol can interact with various medications, including blood thinners, birth control pills, and antibiotics, as it is metabolized by the liver. Therefore, individuals taking these medications should consult with healthcare professionals before starting resveratrol supplements.4

Let’s sum up

In summary, resveratrol is a potent polyphenolic compound with various health benefits ranging from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to potential anti-ageing properties. While obtaining significant amounts from diet alone is challenging, resveratrol supplements are available. However, as with any supplement, it is crucial to consider possible interactions with medications and to consult a healthcare provider before adding resveratrol to one's regimen, especially in high doses. More research is certainly needed to fully understand its benefits and potential roles in human health.


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