Aging Has Met its Match in Resveratrol

How can French people stay so healthy while eating rich foods and drinking red wine? Recent research may have the answer: Red wine is a good source of resveratrol, a natural compound also found in red grape juice, peanuts, blueberries and cranberries. This wonder nutrient shows promise in promoting heart health, increasing life expectancy and preventing cancer.

The resveratrol found in wine is extracted from the skin of red grapes during the fermentation process. The longer a wine ferments in the presence of grape skins, the greater its final resveratrol content. However, you’d have to drink a lot of red wine to get maximum benefit from resveratrol.

While a typical glass of wine can contain less than a milligram of resveratrol, supplements like Jarrow’s Resveratrol 100 formula contain as much as 100 times that amount. “It’s on our ‘A list’ of healthy aging supplements,” says Paul Clark, a clinical herbalist at our Sonoma store, who emphasizes that Jarrow’s supplement delivers the compound in an active form.

So what exactly does resveratrol do? According to aggregated research from the Linus Pauling Institute, laboratory tests have shown the compound boosts heart health by inhibiting clot formation in the arteries and promoting dilation of the arteries.

The compound may also make people live longer and slow the signs of aging. In studies with yeast, worms and fruit flies, resveratrol stimulated enzymes that lengthened the organisms’ lives by as much as 59 percent. Resveratrol had a similar effect on the human version of the enzyme in test tubes.

In another study, elderly mice that were given resveratrol showed a marked reduction in signs of aging, including greater motor coordination, preserved bone strength and reduced cataract formation. Though the compound did not significantly increase the mice’s lifespan, resveratrol showed great promise in reducing some negative effects associated with the aging process.

Other tests have demonstrated resveratrol’s promise when it comes to slowing the progression of cancer. Researchers who added resveratrol to cell cultures found that it inhibits the growth of many cancer cells, including those from breast, prostate, stomach, colon, pancreatic and thyroid cancers.

Though definitive studies that show resveratrol’s effects on humans are still on the horizon, practitioners continue to recommend this antioxidant to boost general health. If you are heart-conscious or young-at-heart, head to Pharmaca to speak with one of our practitioners about our selection of formulas containing resveratrol.

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