Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds derived from plants called polyphenols. It is found abundantly in the skin of red grapes, as well as in berries and peanuts and is the reason why consuming red wine is often touted as having numerous health benefits. Advertisements for resveratrol claim it can do virtually anything from promoting weight loss to extending people’s lives. Here we detail three ways you can benefit from taking this wonder-drug.
Every day, our bodies are exposed to environmental factors such as pollution or even just stress that lead to the formation of free-radicals. Excessive amounts of free radicals are known to cause premature aging which can also lead to disease. Resveratrol works as an antioxidant and scavenges these free-radicals keeping our bodies healthier and our skin looking younger. In the past few decades, there have been literary thousands of studies conducted on resveratrol which have highlighted how the compound prevents oxidative stress in our blood vessels and helps promote normal cell replication. All in all. this means supplementing it will ensure you stay in tip-top condition throughout your life.
Phytochemicals like resveratrol are known to reduce individual’s risk of developing major diseases. Resveratrol has shown itself to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent the oxidation of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol preventing the formation of clots that can lead to heart attacks. The supplement has also shown to limit the spread of cancerous cells and help promote their apoptosis or death. Additionally, the compound prevents insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, keeping the effect of the blood-sugar hormone insulin working as best as it can. Resveratrol has also shown to increase levels of the hormone leptin which regulates fat storage and therefore assists with weight loss and prevention of over-eating.
Mental Health and Cognitive Decline
By improving cellular support, resveratrol has also shown to boost mental health and help prevent cognitive decline. One study in Germany involving 56 healthy volunteers found the use of resveratrol led to an increased ability in simple tasks such as remembering words. Additionally, those who took the supplement had an increase in functional connectivity of the hippocampus, an area of the brain used for the organization of memory, compared to those who took placebo. Preliminary studies have also shown that resveratrol may prevent nerve damage and the buildup of plaque in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dosages used in studies are typically higher than those found in supplements today with the amount shown to be beneficial being around 2000mg and most supplements containing anywhere between 250-500mg. Generally speaking recommended maximum doses lie around 500mg/day. However, even though resveratrol is present in much smaller amounts in red wine, at around 2mg per glass, nations that consume red wine in abundance such as France have shown to have far reduced the risk of numerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. This means supplementing even just 250mg/day is likely to yield numerous benefits.