Tag Archives: Brain Health

The Benefits Of Resveratrol

Wine and grapes

If you are a follower of Greek mythology, you may know that Greek gods were superior immortal exceptionally beautiful beings believed to have powers over controlling the world or some aspect of it. You probably also know that the Greek gods drank a lot of wine. Did anyone ever make a connection between the two? Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in red wine and grapes. It is said to promote longevity and offer a range of health benefits from promoting weight loss to combatting cancer. Could it help us achieve god-like status? You be the judge. Here are some of the benefits of resveratrol.

What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant produced by some plants as a natural defense against stresses of the environment and is theorized to be able to do the same for humans. Antioxidants are compounds which have been shown to neutralize free radicals which cause aging, cancer, and heart disease. Although Japanese knotweed tops the list of plants with the highest content of resveratrol, a large amount is found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol protects the grapes against sun damage and fungi disease, making red wine, produced with the grapes, a source of the antioxidant, although in an albeit small amount.

Woman drinking wine

Resveratrol and the French
Resveratrol is thought to be the cause of low rates of heart disease in France. Even with the French habits of smoking, coffee drinking, and the consumption of a high-fat diet, the incidence of heart disease remains low in the French population. The theory is that the resveratrol in the red wine the French consume counteracts the effects of poor health habits, and also contribute to the longevity of the French people.

How Does It Work?
Resveratrol helps to protect cell DNA and reverses the damage caused by free radicals leading to cancer, and aging.

Woman pondering

Benefits

  • Skin Care
    Research indicate that resveratrol can fight skin damage caused by UV light. A study publishes in the FASEB found that when directly applied to skin, resveratrol can protect against the effects of aging caused by sun exposure.
  • Weight Loss
    Scientific finding show that resveratrol can stimulate the production of adiponectin, which is a hormone throughout to fight obesity and insulin resistance. Animal based and test tube studies show that the compound can help to speed metabolism and slow down the formation of fat cells.
  • Brain Health
    A study published in the journal Neurology in 2015 showed that individuals suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease demonstrated small improvements in their self maintenance abilities after taken resveratrol supplements daily for a year.
  • Cancer
    A report from the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reveal a number of studies suggesting that resveratrol may have anti cancer properties. A study on cell cultures revealed that resveratrol helped to slow the progression of breast cancer in its early stages, and prevented estrogen from reacting to DNA molecules and forming compounds associated with the beginnings of cancer.

Have you taken resveratrol or used it in your skin care products? Let us know what you think. Is resveratrol the new miracle antioxidant?

Resveratrol and Brain Health

Woman having red wine

What would you think if you were told that your evening glass of wine could help your memory stay keen as you age? As it happens, there are hypotheses circulating suggesting that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes that’s abundant in red wine and grape juice, might be able to keep your brain healthy even as you age. Of course, caution and healthy skepticism are always valuable boons when dealing with anything that sounds like it might be too good to be true, so let’s examine these ideas carefully.

Claims
The purported benefits of resveratrol for the brain tend to revolve around improvement of memory, or at the very least, prevention of memory degradation. More specifically, this would mean that regular consumption of resveratrol might help one create, retain, and recall memories better. Some claims also tout resveratrol as helping general cognitive processing and function, meaning that it might help you process information faster and have clearer and sharper thoughts in general (cut away mental “fog,” so to speak).

Studies
There have actually been a couple clinical studies done on this phenomenon, and while further testing is necessary to confirm that resveratrol makes for an effective treatment or supplemental treatment, the results are promising. Trials done on both animals and human volunteers indicate that resveratrol might be able to improve memory retention and function. Evidence supporting resveratrol helping with generalized cognitive function and processing, however, has scant anecdotal evidence at best; it certainly might help, but we don’t know for sure yet and won’t know without further studies.

The Takeaway
In short, there’s enough evidence supporting resveratrol having at least a couple beneficial effects on long term health of the brain, so while we don’t have the full picture just yet, we know enough to say that at worst, it’s harmless and might only help a little, and at best, it might help a lot. So don’t treat regular consumption of resveratrol as a cure-all or stop seeing your doctor (please, please keep going to your doctor appointments and keeping them up to date on everything that concerns your health), but go ahead and sip that red wine, and toast to your good health.

Tips and Tricks
Remember, of course, that you should still moderate alcohol consumption, even if it is red wine you’re drinking. A good habit is to limit yourself to one drink a day on an average day, only exceeding this on special occasions and social outings (ideally no more than once a week, and still only 2-4 drinks in that case).

Further, you don’t actually need to consume alcohol to get antioxidants, so if you’re trying to cut back or recovering from an addiction, never fear. Red grape juice, pomegranate juice, and dark chocolate are just a few good non-alcoholic sources of antioxidants. In general, dark, leafy greens and especially dark fruits are your best bets.