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What is Resveratrol?
By now you’ve probably heard of resveratrol. Although many people know about it, many don’t know what the best resveratrol supplement is.
In other words, what should people look for in a supplement?
The polyphenol found in red wine, peanuts, some berries and Japanese Knotweed, has been studied by scientists at least as far back as 1997.
Resveratrol has been shown to mimic caloric restriction (1) and improve longevity by positively activating proteins known as sirtuins. Sirtuins require the coenzyme NAD+ to function.
Since 1997 thousands of published scientific studies have looked at its effectiveness as a treatment against heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
So it’s no surprise that large numbers of people are taking it for its anti-aging prospects.
Best Resveratrol Supplement: The Benefits
What follows is a brief review of promising research to assist you in finding the best resveratrol supplement.
There are many more published studies not elucidated here that demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of resveratrol, although not all studies demonstrate benefits.
Resveratrol is showing a lot of promise reducing the risk of multiple conditions that are considered part of cardiovascular disease.
The administration of resveratrol significantly reduced blood pressure in rats with renal hypertension compared to a control group in a published study.
Supplementation with resveratrol in pigs lowered C-reactive protein, serum cholesterol and demonstrated improved glucose tolerance, reducing risk factors for coronary artery disease (2).
Resveratrol has also been shown to promote endothelial function, improve left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, and reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease and stroke.
With the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and the loss of cognitive function with age, resveratrol is also being studied as a possible intervention against these neurological disorders.
Cognitive decline was slowed or prevented in mice given resveratrol, showing that it may have neuroprotective effects against ethanol.
Orally administered doses of 250mg and 500mg of resveratrol significantly increased cerebral blood flow in healthy adults, while cognitive function was not affected.
Resveratrol demonstrated neuroprotective effects in rats following intracerebral hemorrhage from secondary brain injury. Over a 2 week period, rats treated with resveratrol performed better in behavioral tests.
Resveratrol improved insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients, leading researchers to suggest that the results were due to a reduction in oxidative stress.
Postprandial (after a meal) glucagon was suppressed by resveratrol in obese adults. This may be important since postprandial glucagon contributes to hyperglycemia.
Resveratrol has also been shown to be effective in reducing diabetic hypertension, improving blood lipid profiles and reducing insulin resistance.
A meta-analysis of 9 randomized controlled trials show that resveratrol significantly improved insulin levels and fasting plasma glucose.
Recent evidence indicates that resveratrol can be a chemopreventive agent against tumor initiation and progression via multiple pathways. Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory properties that counteract inflammatory markers such as NF-kappa B.
Resveratrol has also been shown to be effective against skin cancer. Oral administration of resveratrol markedly delayed UV-induced skin cancer which was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
The outgrowth of neuroblastoma tumors were stopped by resveratrol by as much as 80% and decreased tumor cell viability between 75% to 90% by inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death).
In a published study of cervical cancer, resveratrol induced apoptosis and stopped cell proliferation of HeLa human cervical cancer cells, which was published in Oncology Letters.
In addition to resveratrol’s previously mentioned benefits, some studies have shown that it can be effective against pathogenic microorganisms.
Resveratrol has shown its ability to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans. It may also be effective as a topical treatment for MRSA, as well as a treatment for Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia, and diarrhea caused by rotavirus infection.
Bacterial cell growth of E. coli was inhibited by resveratrol, resulting in DNA fragmentation of the Escherichia coli.
What to Look for in the Best Resveratrol Supplement
While resveratrol supplements are generally tolerated very well, at high doses of 2.5 grams or more some people have reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
While some scientists studying resveratrol note that bioavailability of the polyphenol is an obstacle as a supplement, it has still managed to produce an impressive body of results as far as benefits are concerned.
Resveratrol supplements typically range in dose from 100mg to 1000mg. A large number of published studies in humans use from 100mg to 250mg of resveratrol.
Trans-resveratrol from Japanese Knotweed is the source of resveratrol used by Life Extension and many other companies, since it is the formulation that is most frequently used in scientific studies.
Some formulations combine resveratrol with nicotinamide riboside, a precursor of NAD+, since NAD+ levels decline with age.
Consult your physician if you’re undergoing treatment for a medical condition, or if you are pregnant or lactating, before using resveratrol.
By using the information provided here, you should be better equipped to determine what the best resveratrol supplement is for you.
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- Dolinsky VW, Dyck JR. Calorie restriction and resveratrol in cardiovascular health and disease. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Jul 1.
- Robich MP, Osipov RM, Chu LM, et al. Resveratrol modifies risk factors for coronary artery disease in swine with metabolic syndrome and myocardial ischemia. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug 16;664(1-3):45-53.