Buried Treasure Healthy The Many Benefits of Grape’s Wonder  Nutrient - Resveratrol

The Many Benefits of Grape’s Wonder Nutrient - Resveratrol

For Educational Purposes Only

Grapes have been identified as a fruit to improve health for centuries and one key bioactive in them is resveratrol, which is called a phenol. Resveratrol has been a hot topic in the research community for the last 3 decades. Whole grapes contain a variety of important phytonutrients including anthocyanins, polyphenols, catechins and flavanols, with resveratrol being one of the stars.

Grapes and products derived from them, including juice and wine are considered the most important natural sources of resveratrol. Peanuts also contain resveratrol. The highest concentration of resveratrol is found in grape skin. It would seem odd, but UV irradiation and other processes of grapes to make wine and grape juice actually increases the amount of resveratrol.

Grapes have some wonderful health benefits such as having a low glycemic index and helping to stabilize blood sugar. One cup of red grapes contains around 0.24 to 1.25 mg resveratrol similar to a 5 ounce glass of red wine. 0.30 to 1.07 mg.

Resveratrol studied at the cell level, in animals and humans

Resveratrol has been studied at the cell level, in animals and humans for protection against aging, neurological benefits and heart and artery health.

At the cell level, resveratrol has demonstrated positive effects on cellular signaling, enzymatic pathways and gene expression. The benefits show it helps to protect heart and neurological problems and against cell damage. It helps to activate Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and PGC-1α, which improves the cell’s mitochondria and helps increase lifespan. 

SIRT1 is an enzyme found within the cell’s nucleus and is involved in regulating cell functions. It is known to be associated with longevity.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) is part of the family of transcription coactivators found within the cells. It plays a main role in regulating cellular energy metabolism and is considered an important  regulator of mitochondrial functions.

 

Resveratrol’s health benefits were originally discovered when it was made by some plants when there was an injury or the plant was attacked by pathogens like a bacteria. Resveratrol acts as what is called a phytoalexin, which is made in response to a plants  injury. It induces a resistance in plants against microbial attacks and was shown to extend the life span in different organisms.

Resveratrol helps to increase life span

Aging is partially caused by free radical damage. Resveratrol has antioxidant properties and helps support the inflammatory response process. It also has demonstrated to have an effect on the mitochondria within cells to help promote increased life span.

One study was performed with middle aged and elderly subjects. They evaluated their Human Mononuclear cells. Resveratrol had a significant effect on both age groups in reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS), major free radicals released in the body causing oxidative damage. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is a major antioxidant enzyme in the cells of the body. The cells exposed to resveratrol had increased SOD activity. The conclusion of the study was that resveratrol demonstrated to have antioxidant action in both age groups, and there was a recognizable change on the aging process at the cell level.

Resveratrol administered to postmenopausal women

One study was performed with postmenopausal women who were administered with resveratrol for 14 weeks. In general, circulation in the brain is reduced as one ages. The study showed that resveratrol improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions.

A longer randomized, placebo controlled study was performed for 12 months. The study showed that resveratrol over the placebo prevented the decline of cerebral function and improved overall cognitive performance. This was a major effect and demonstrated the role resveratrol plays during the aging process in the brain and in blood circulation.

Consumption of Resveratrol has been compared to the benefits of reducing calorie intake

There are numerous studies that show that calorie restricted diets extend lifespan and have metabolic benefits. There is evidence that now also shows that resveratrol supplementation has similar advantages on increasing lifespan like this particular diet of reducing calories. In research it has been noted resveratrol’s ability to activate Sirt1, improve the utilization of energy and improve insulin sensitivity are features that resemble the effects of calorie restriction. There is research that shows other similarities at the cell level. Therefore, resveratrol has been called a “calorie restriction mimetic” to help improve metabolic health.

Resveratrol and Cardiovascular Benefits

One 12 month study with 228 subjects consumed either resveratrol at 2 different doses or placebo. In both of the resveratrol groups there were significant improvements in  blood pressure, body mass index and blood sugar and blood lipids compared to the control group. This study showed the benefits to the heart, arteries and other body systems.

Some research suggests that resveratrol may have a benefit on blood pressure by helping to relax blood vessels by producing more nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is a compound produced by many different cells and is critically important  for blood vessels since it is a vasodilator. This causes the inner muscles of the blood vessel walls to widen. Naturally in the body, as nitric oxide levels increase, blood flow increases and lowers blood pressure.

Resveratrol Support to Blood Sugar

Resveratrol has demonstrated in both animal and human studies to benefit blood sugar somewhat because of its antioxidant properties and support to the body’s inflammatory response. It has been shown to help the homeostasis of glucose, support insulin levels and help the body to improve its secretion and have a protective effect on the pancreas β-cells. It may be partially due to its effect on SIRT1 activity in different tissues.

In summary, resveratrol is a special compound found in grapes and has been studied for a long time. Besides its antioxidant benefits, it has been shown to help the cardiovascular system and blood sugar. It has been shown at the cell level to promote Sirt1 and PGC-1α activity to be supportive for longevity.

If you have a health condition and or take medication, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider prior to taking supplements.

References

Caldeira CA, Santos MA, Araújo GR, et al.  Resveratrol: Change of SIRT 1 and AMPK signaling pattern during the aging process.  Exper Gerontol.  2021;(146)111226.

Delmas D, Cornebise C, Courtaut F, Xiao J, Aires V. New Highlights of Resveratrol: A Review of Properties against Ocular Diseases.  Int J Mol Sci.  2021;22(3):1295.

Fodor K, Tit DM, Pasca B, et al.  Long-term resveratrol supplementation as a secondary prophylaxis for stroke.  Oxid Med Cell Longev.  2018;4147320:1-10.
Lagouge M, Argmann C, Gerhart-Hines Z, et al.  Resveratrol improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha. Cell.  2006;127(6):1109-1122.

Singh CK, Liu X, Ahmad N.  Resveratrol, in its natural combination in whole grape, for health promotion and disease management.  Ann NY Acad Sci.  2015;1348(1):150-160.
Zaw TJJ, Howe PRC, Wong RHX.  Sustained Cerebrovascular and Cognitive Benefits of Resveratrol in postmenopausal Women.  Nutrients.  2020;12(3):828.