Chances are that you have heard at least a little bit about resveratrol. This compound is much more than your excuse to drink a bit of red wine, there are some really significant health benefits that can result as well. Health experts and doctors remind you to drink in moderation, even when it is a beneficial red wine. Below are the top five reasons that we love resveratrol (and why you should too!).
Your body has levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Your “bad” cholesterol, or LDLs, are deposited on your heart’s arterial wall and form harmful plaque. When plaque forms in your arteries, the arteries respond by becoming stiff. In addition, LDLs cause a rise in blood pressure and a predisposition to heart attacks. Resveratrol in red wine is thought to lower the level of LDLs in your body, thus decreasing your risk for heart-related injuries. In fact, one study showed that participants taking a grape supplement, naturally found in red wine, lowered their level of “bad” cholesterol by nearly 10%. In participants who previous had significantly higher blood pressure levels, the number jumped to a 12% drop in LDL levels.
Resveratrol is also thought to benefit your brain. Alzheimer’s is the number one form of dementia and unfortunately, can occur early on in life as opposed to only being a disease of the aging. Patients with Alzheimer’s have plaque formations in their brains and resveratrol is thought to help lower the risk of this plaque. A major component of the brain plaque is beta-amyloid protein and it is believed that resveratrol hinders the formation of this substance.
Control Blood Sugar
Diabetes incidences are on the rise and many people, whether diagnosed or not, have some level of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor to diabetes. Controlling blood sugar is not always an easy task, but resveratrol may be able to help. The skin of the grapes used for red wines are a major source of red wine’s resveratrol. A study involving the use of a resveratrol supplement indicated that those who took 250mg once a day for 90 days significantly lowered their blood glucose levels as opposed to those who received control pills.
Discourages Cancer Cells
Resveratrol is not the cure for cancer, but there are some interesting findings regarding how resveratrol affects cells afflicted with cancer. It is thought that resveratrol inhibits the spread of cancerous cells throughout the body. Some believe that resveratrol enhances atopsis, which is the automatic death of cancer cells.
While there have not been any human studies, there are animal studies that indicate that resveratrol may actually help prolong your life. A study using mice fed them a high caloric diet. One group of mice received resveratrol as a supplement and the other did not. The mice receiving the resveratrol supplement lived significantly longer than the control group. Researchers believe that this is due to the fact that resveratrol mimics the benefits of a diet that is calorie restricted, which is known to benefit lifespan.
So go ahead and pour yourself a glass of red wine and relax a bit while providing your body with the wonder of resveratrol.