Resveratrol Health Importance and Food Sources

Resveratrol (3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a compound produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as fungi or bacteria, and is found in the skin of red grapes. In grapes, those that are black or purple in color contain the highest concentration of resveratrol. Grape skin contains about 50 to 100 micrograms of resveratrol per gram, while  wine concentrations range from 1.5 to 3 milligrams per liter. Since a glass of wine is nearly 5 and 1/3 ounces, a person taking 20 mg resveratrol supplement may ingest the equivalent amount of resveratrol found in 41 glasses of red wine.

Resveratrol Best Food Sources List

Red grapes, red wine, Japanese knotweed, Itadori tea, melinjo (Gnetum gnemon L.), black raspberries, mulberries, cranberries, blueberries, peanuts.

Resveratrol Health Importance and Benefits

ResveratrolResveratrol is one of the strong antioxidant, which has been found to play a protective role against cancers of prostate and colon, coronary heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s and viral infections. Anti-inflammatory effects have been demonstrated to prevent, delay, or decrease the severity of chronic inflammatory disease in animal models.There are  various reports in the literature show that resveratrol dampens inflammation in arthritis and immune responsiveness in autoimmune diseases  suppresses angiogenesis and metastasis in different cancers and inhibits ROS products and platelet aggregation in cardiovascular ailments.


As an antioxidant, resveratrol fights these free radicals to keep the cells and tissues normal and free from damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack normal cells and damage membranes. Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from oxidative damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Cell death caused by free radicals contributes to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, some forms of cancer and nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Resveratrol might help avoid and reduce inflammation in body. That includes the inhibition of synthesis and release of pro-inflammatory mediators, modifications of eicosanoid synthesis, inhibition of some activated immune cells, or inhibiting the enzymes, such as COX-1 or COX-2, which are responsible for the synthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators through the inhibitory property of resveratrol on transcription factors like nuclear factor kappaB or AP-1.  NF-kappaB is a protein that binds to DNA and regulates the genes involved in inflammation and generation of tumors. Resveratrol decreases NFkB (nuclear factor kappa B) activation. That’s why, its inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B may reduce the effects of related chronic illness. In the double-blind a study, scientists gave the patients 40 mg of resveratrol once per day. After 6 weeks of trial activity, blood samples from the resveratrol group far exceeded the placebo group in reduction of free radicals and blood vessel inflammation. Inflammation is one of main mechanisms of autoimmune illness and a common property of most diseases. Sirtuin1 has been shown to play a role in regulation of inflammation. Resveratrol, a powerful Sirt1 activator, has anti-inflammation feature.

Heart Health

Resveratrol helps lessen inflammation and makes it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can lead to a heart attack. Experimental and epidemiological studies have revealed that a mild to moderate drinking of wine, especially red wine, lowers the cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular risk. Research in mice given resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant might also help preserve them from diabetes and obesity , both of which are important risk factors for heart disease.

Resveratrol dilates blood vessels to develop blood flow and increases nitric oxide production, which is a important Resveratrolpart of healthful blood flow and heart health. A study, reported in the journal “Biofactors” in September 2010, found that resveratrol triggers the release of nitric oxide, which plays an significant role in relaxation of blood vessels. In a January 2012 placebo-controlled study of forty patients who had suffered a heart attack, scientists at the “University of Pecs”, found that taking 10 mg of resveratrol daily for 3 months boosted endothelial function. Scientists at “Zhejiang University” investigated the influence of injections of resveratrol on the central regulation of blood pressure, heart rate, and renal sympathetic nerve activity in animals. Findings suggest that resveratrol strong inhibits blood pressure, heart rate, and renal sympathetic nerve activity.

Brain Health

Laboratory studies suggest that resveratrol has neuro-protective features.Resveratrol protects brain cells by reducing inflammation in the central nervous system, according to study reported in the August 2010 edition of the journal Neuroinflammation. Neurons are the main building blocks of the nervous system and are responsible for signals sent between cells. According to the “University of Basel” in a study on cell cultures resveratrol enhances cell viability through offering neuro-protective and anti-oxidative advantages by enhancing the free-radical scavenger glutathione. Alzheimer’s disease, is characterized by a progressive dementia, and is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders in the elderly. Accumulation of soluble high molecular weight amyloid-beta compounds in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease people leads to the formation of plaques that are believed to be responsible for the memory loss and dementia that occurs with the disease. Amyloid beta triggers oxidative stress and inflammation that directly damages brain cells, particularly in memory centers of the brain.  Resveratrol promotes the non-amyloidogenic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein, enhances clearance of amyloid beta-peptides, and reduces neuronal damage. A research published in the November 2005 edition of the “Journal of  Biological Chemistry” revealed that resveratrol, reduces amyloid-beta peptide levels produced by specific brain cells.

Anticancer Activity

Resveratrol has been found to inhibit the proliferation of a variety of human cancer cell lines, including those from prostate, breast, colon, stomach, thyroid and  pancreatic cancers. The antioxidant effect of resveratrol helps to avoid damage to DNA, influences the transcriptions of genes responsible for redox metabolism and inhibits proliferartion of cancer cells. Researches have shown that resveratrol helps avoid cancer during all three phases of the cancer process; initiation, promotion and progression. Resveratrol has  been found to increase expression and activation of one substantial “suicide” pathway known as p53.  Also, was found to inactivate some enzymes of the CYP450 family in tumor cells.

Resveratrol was found to inhibit the self-renewing ability of human pancreatic cancer stem cells in vitro in a research reported in 2011 in PloS One. Scientists at the “University of Leicester” have been researching the levels of resveratrol which can be useful in preventing cancer. Using lab models, they have found that a daily rate of resveratrol equivalent to 2 glasses of wine can halve the rate of bowel tumors.  Research reported  in the journal “Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences” found that resveratrol is also a strong “chemosensitizer,” which means it helps cancer tumors respond more effectively to chemotherapy treatment. According to that research, resveratrol effectively modulates cell signaling molecules, which can help enhance the effectiveness of standard cancer treatments.

According to  M D Anderson researches, resveratrol improves chemotherapy success and reduces adverse effects; it also enhances glutathione levels which help oxygenate and restore healthy cells. MD Anderson have researched resveratrol and shown in a number of studies that resveratrol can be a important force as a preventive and chemotherapy factor. In studies with breast cancer and astrocytoma cells, resveratrol has been shown to induce apoptosis via p53 pathways. P53 is the gene that repairs DNA. Resveratrol inhibits breast cancer cell lines via induction of apoptotic cell death, according to a research reported in the May 2005 edition of the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research journal. Apoptosis is a regular process that helps your body get rid of tumor cells. “Resveratrol has the capability to avoid the first step that occurs when estrogen starts the process that leads to cancer by blocking the formation of the estrogen DNA adducts. We believe that this could stop the whole progression that leads to breast cancer down the road.” (Eleanor G. Rogan, professor in the University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Side Effects

Resveratrol makes platelets in the bloodstream less “sticky,” and therefore could increase the risk of bleeding in patients who take warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

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