The Benefits of Resveratrol and Where to Find it
In recent years scientists have discovered antioxidant properties in the compounds of some plants and foods. Pharmaceutical laboratories have extracted these antioxidants to make them available to consumers. A perfect example of this is resveratrol, which has recently become very popular.
We find resveratrol available in many pharmaceutical versions, such as pills, sprays and creams for the skin; however, it’s still a product that’s in development.
What are antioxidants?
Thanks to the process of respiration, the human body can function properly. This process produces fluids within the body and generates free radicals.
Radicals are electrons that don’t react in pairs (hence the word ‘free’), and they‘re harmful for the healthy cells in our body.
The presence of these electrons can trigger diseases and premature aging, known as oxidation of cells. Among the free radicals there’s: hypochlorous acid, superoxide, hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals.
There are molecules present in the substances of certain foods that prevent oxidation and its unhealthy effects. Experts claim that such molecules can directly affect a latent longevity gene in animals.
The following substances are examples of antioxidants:
- Vitamins A, C, E
- Selenium and Zinc
- Flavonoids and anthocyanin
These antioxidants are found in many foods. However, it’s possible that you need to take dietary supplements in order to reach the daily recommended intake. This is also the case with resveratrol.
What makes resveratrol an antioxidant?
Resveratrol contains ‘popular’ polyphenols that absorb free radicals, thus avoiding oxidative stress on cells. This process takes place thanks to the contribution of electrons and hydrogen molecules, which neutralize said radicals.
Another molecule- phytoalexin, is transformed by a powerful antimicrobial substance. It’s generated in high concentrations in certain plants when they have suffered from radiation, bacterial or fungal infections.
Some polyphenols in resveratrol are: proanthocyanidin, anthocyanin and flavonoids. Their action is equal to caloric restriction on a diet, which is related to longevity.
The antioxidant properties of resveratrol
Different studies try to determine the effectiveness of resveratrol at a medical level. Meanwhile, experts claim that consumption of it has many health benefits, for example:
- Anti-aging effect.
- Prevention of age associated conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It acts on the accumulation of protein.
- Regulation of bad cholesterol and an increase of the good cholesterol.
- Protection of the cardiovascular system. Acts as an antiplatelet and vasodilation drug.
- Prevents cancer by inhibiting the reproduction of abnormal cells, especially in breasts and in the prostate.
- Helps with recovery after a stroke.
- It’s anti-inflammatory, which helps to slow down the development of some infections and diseases.
- Regulation of estrogen production in women.
- Healing effects on neurodegenerative diseases; respiratory such as epoc, and hepatic.
- Reduces glucose levels in the blood and has a positive impact on the metabolism; it’s equivalent to following a hypocaloric diet.
- Improves hair and skin.
As you can see from this list, some of its effects are preventive, while others are healing. This is a revolutionary molecule that could affect human health in a positive way.
How much resveratrol should I take?
Depending on different variables and personal characteristics, experts recommend 250 to 1000 mg every three months. It’s still safe to consume up to 3000 mg in 8 weeks, which is a quantity that can be obtained only in pharmaceutical versions. Permanent consumption is not recommended.
Natural sources of resveratrol
Standardized extracts are great and have a high concentration of this molecule. It’s also possible to ingest resveratrol directly from food, but in smaller quantities and as a preventive measure.
Resveratrol can be found in black grapes and red wine, blackberries and in almost all red berries, chocolate, peanuts and other nuts. But some processes related to production could affect the amount of resveratrol that’s present in red wine.
You should avoid taking resveratrol if you’re also taking antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulants or drugs to treat hepatic illnesses. Always ask your doctor about the contraindications of taking resveratrol with other substances.