• Categories

  • Syndicate

  • Archives

Resveratrol Update: I’ll Drink to That

Posted by bmagnus On June - 25 - 2010

Resveratrol shows promise as a great anti-aging compound, which is why we’ve talked about it several times. It’s found naturally in red wine as well as grapes and peanuts, and is now available in most vitamin stores as a supplement. However, some experts think it’s very difficult to get enough resveratrol into your system to have any sort of meaningful result. There is new research on resveratrol showing more benefits, and calling into question just how much is beneficial.

First, we have some chemistry research. While scientists admit that we don’t yet know whether resveratrol can cross the blood-brain barrier, they have proven that it can neutralize a protein called the A?1-42 peptide. This peptide and related proteins accumulate in the plaques that occur in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Specifically, “The resveratrol reacted with the toxic arrangements of the A?1-42 peptide, neutralizing their toxicity. It did not affect the non-toxic arrangements.” This may someday form the basis of a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Other research focused on abnormal blood vessel growth — angiogenesis — in the eye. This can cause vision loss in such conditions as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Angiogenesis was introduced in mice by treating their eyes with lasers. When the mice were given resveratrol, the abnormal blood vessels disappeared. Researchers are pleased about this, because it means not only does resveratrol present a promising method of preventing and curing certain eye diseases, it can be given in a pill form instead of an injection into the eye. However, they do caution that the mice were given the equivalent of “much more than would be found in several bottles of red wine.” Almost anyone would drink themselves blind before in fact curing blindness.

But the last set of studies shows that not all of resveratrol’s benefits come with super-high doses. In lemurs, 200 mg per kg of weight resulted in a 13% reduced food intake and a 29% increase in resting metabolism. But what about humans? Other research shows that when real human beings — not mice or lemurs or anything else — just one glass of wine daily fights the development of fat cells, improves the reaction of the body to sugar in the blood, improved blood flow, and improved the performance and reproduction of endothelial progenitor cells — cells that repair the interior walls of blood vessels. Remember, this study involved normal, healthy people drinking a glass of wine rather than taking a supplement capsule.

As always when we discuss red wine and resveratrol, we recommend moderation in all things. Don’t start drinking just because of the latest study, but don’t feel guilty if you already enjoy a daily glass of wine. And certainly be aware that a bottled supplement may have purity and efficacy issues.

Comments are closed.