Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol(antioxidant) called a phytoalexin, a class of compounds produced as part of a plant’s defense system against disease. It is produced in the plant in response to an invading fungus, stress, injury, infection, or ultraviolet irradiation. Red wine contains high levels of resveratrol, as do grapes, raspberries, peanuts, and other plants. Red wine contains more polyphenols than white wine because the making of white wine requires the removal of the skins after the grapes are crushed .
Resveratrol has been shown to reduce tumor incidence in animals by affecting one or more stages of cancer development. It has been shown to inhibit growth of many types of cancer cells in culture. Evidence also exists that it can reduce inflammation. It also reduces activation of NF kappa B, a protein produced by the body’s immune system when it is under attack. This protein affects cancer cell growth and metastasis.
The cell and animal studies of red wine have examined effects in several cancers including leukemia, skin, breast, and prostate cancers . Scientists are studying resveratrol to learn more about its cancer preventive activities. Recent evidence from animal studies suggests this anti-inflammatory compound may be an effective chemopreventive agent in three stages of the cancer process: initiation, promotion, and progression.
More interesting facts about Resveratrol:
• Adding resveratrol to the diet of yeast, fruit flies, worms, and increased their life spans up to 70%, 29%, 24%, & 50% respectively.
• Resveratrol made fat related deaths drop 31% in obese mice. The resveratrol fed obese mice also performed much better in movement and agility tests than obese mice not fed resveratrol.
• Mice fed resveratrol had 100% more endurance than mice not fed resveratrol (i.e. they were able to run twice as far on a treadmill).
• Resveratrol inhibits blood platelet aggregation that can lead to dangerous clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
The Bottom Line:
You probably have noticed a recurring theme that most beneficial compounds can be found in…….you
guessed it! Fruits and vegetables and nuts! It’s not rocket science.
You’ve heard it all before. You are what you eat folks!
One last comment:
What I’m about to say really deserves a separate, dedicated article, but I must reiterate the importance of vitamin and mineral supplementation, along with your healthy diet. Even if you DO eat the recommended 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you aren’t likely getting all of the nutrients you need.
Two peaches would have supplied the current RDA of vitamin A for adult women in 1951. Today, a woman would have to eat almost 53 peaches to meet her daily requirements! Another study compared data collected in 1930 and 1980 for 8 minerals in 40 fruits and vegetables. The author reported significant losses of calcium, magnesium, copper and sodium in vegetables, and magnesium, iron, copper and potassium in fruits. The foods were also significantly higher in water and lower in dry matter (e.g., fiber ) content. (information obtained from Glycoscience)
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