Resveratrol has been well received in the media for its anti-aging and disease-fighting abilities. Fitness experts began to give more attention to resveratrol in 2006. This is because a journal called Cell reported an interesting article about mice. The study included two groups of mice. One group of mice was given resveratrol. The other group was placebo mice. Both groups had to run on a treadmill. The study concluded that the group of mice given resveratrol ran twice as far! (6) Resveratrol has many other health benefits as well. In this article, we will discuss those benefits and reasons that you should be taking resveratrol. Let’s get started!
What is Resveratrol?
You may be wondering, what is resveratrol? Resveratrol is present in many plants and fruits. Some sources of resveratrol are peanuts, berries, grapes, eucalyptus, spruce, blueberries, mulberries, and giant knotweed. One of the richest sources of it is the skin of grapes. That’s why it makes sense that red wine is one of the largest sources of resveratrol as well. The longer the grape juice is fermented with the grape skins, the higher the resveratrol content will be.
Resveratrol is known as a polyphenol antioxidant that protects against environmental stresses. Antioxidants help slow the aging process because they neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are caused by pollution and sunlight. Polyphenols generally guard the body against diseases involving:
- Heart Disease
- Cognitive Decline
It can do this because it activates the SIRT1 gene. This gene is what protects our bodies from diseases related to aging and obesity.
Now that you know what resveratrol is, we will discuss why you should take it.
Why Should You Take Resveratrol?
Many people can benefit from taking resveratrol. Anyone who would like to experience any of the following results should take resveratrol.
- Lose Weight
- Live Long
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Reduce Cholesterol
- Kill Cancer Cells
- Control Diabetes
- Reduce Inflammation
- Increase Cognitive Performance
- Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s
- Enhance Their Eyesight
- Look Younger
As you can see, resveratrol is a supplement that many people can benefit from. Now we will discuss the health benefits of resveratrol in more detail.
Health Benefits of Resveratrol
There have been many extensive studies that have shown the health benefits of consuming resveratrol. Some of these listed below.
- Lowers LDL Cholesterol
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Discourages Blood Clots
- Reduces Inflammation
- Lengthens Life Span
- Protects the Brain
- Increases Insulin Sensitivity
- Decreases Joint Pain
- Kills Cancer Cells
- Anti- Aging
- Protects Against Obesity
- Helps Fight Infections
- Protects Vision
Now that you know some of the health benefits, let’s explore more details about them.
Several studies in animals have shown that resveratrol supplements benefit cholesterol levels. (1)
During a 2016 study, mice were fed a high protein and high-polyunsaturated fat diet. They were also given resveratrol supplements. Scientists discovered that the average total cholesterol levels and body weights of the mice decreased. Additionally, the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol levels increased as well. (2) The researchers believe that this is because resveratrol reduces the effect of the enzyme that controls cholesterol production. (3)
Additionally, resveratrol decreases the oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol. This is also helpful because LDL oxidation is what contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Therefore, resveratrol also lowers LDL cholesterol and discourages blood clots. (4)
Furthermore, a 2015 study found that resveratrol lowers blood pressure because it decreases the pressure on artery walls. This pressure is called systolic blood pressure. It is the top number when you look at a blood pressure level measurement. This number is supposed to increase as we get older because our arteries get harder. When this number is abnormally high, it indicates heart disease.
Another review found that there is a connection between resveratrol and increased lifespan. There was a successful link between the two factors in 60% of organisms that were studied. (5) Scientists believe that this is similar to calorie restriction. Calorie restriction helps to lengthen lives by changing the gene expression. (6)
In 2003, Harvard conducted a study that found resveratrol increased the lifespan of yeast cells by 70% !(8). Soon after, they found similar results in studies of roundworms and fruit flies. Then in 2006, Italian scientists found that resveratrol could extend life by more than 50% in more advanced species of fish (5).
Resveratrol also helps to decrease cognitive decline. This is because of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it decreases the plaques that form with Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have found that resveratrol also protects from brain damage. (8)
Arthritis is very common. Many supplements have been studied to see if they can treat and prevent joint pain. Resveratrol keeps cartilage from breaking down. (11) Cartilage breakdown is what causes joint pain. One study involved rabbits with arthritis. They were injected in the knees with resveratrol. The study found that there was less damage to the rabbits who received the resveratrol. (12) Various other studies on animals have found that resveratrol reduces inflammation and helps to prevent joint damage.
Additionally, resveratrol slows cancer cell growth. This is done by preventing them from replicating and spreading to other areas of the body. It also alters the gene expression so that it can no longer grow. It interferes with how some hormones are expressed as well. This is important because many cancers are hormone-dependent. Resveratrol is beneficial for lowering the risk of cancer for men and women. (10)
Researchers at the University of Brighton have found some exciting evidence! They found that exposing resveratrol to old cells had a major impact. They looked and behaved like younger cells. Cells repair and replace each other every day as a normal part of aging. This is an exciting discovery! (7)
Protects Against Obesity and Diabetes
Furthermore, resveratrol protects against the development of diabetes. It protects against oxidative stress, which is what causes some of the complications. Additionally, resveratrol activates AMPK. AMPK is what metabolizes glucose. This helps keep blood sugar levels from elevating. Resveratrol has more benefits for people with diabetes than those who don’t have it. In one animal study, resveratrol was more effective in rats with diabetes than in rats who didn’t have it. (10)
Insulin stimulates muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb glucose. The cells either use this glucose for energy or convert it into fat. Resveratrol appears to improve insulin sensitivity, which helps to control the development of diabetes. (10)
Additionally, it can help you achieve your weight loss goals. There was a study done on female mice. They were fed a high-fat diet and resveratrol. These mice were found to be 40% less likely to develop obesity than their control counterparts.
Help Fight Infections
Resveratrol inhibits a large range of bacterial pathogens. Also, it affects the activity of antibiotics. Additionally, it contains antivirus properties. (13) Some successful findings were:
- The Herpes Virus Infection in Ducks and Geese (14)
- The Influenza Virus
- The Epstein-Barr Virus
- Lung Infections
- HIV-1 in Synergism (15)
- Chickenpox Virus (15)
- Viruses Linked to Gut Infections (15)
Resveratrol also showed antibacterial activity against:
- E.Coli (15)
- Acne-causing Bacteria (15)
- STD-causing Bacteria (15)
- Diarrhea-causing Bacteria (15)
Vision is one of the most important of your five senses. Slight vision loss is quite noticeable. Unfortunately, for most, vision loss is a normal part of aging. Luckily, a study found that resveratrol prevents the abnormal growth of blood vessels that are damaging to eyesight. (16)
By now we hope that you have learned more about resveratrol and how versatile it is. There is a wide range of health benefits. This is a supplement that most people will benefit from and should consider trying. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.
- M. Campagna and C. Rivas, “Antiviral activity of resveratrol,” Biochemical Society Transactions, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 50–53, 2010.