Thursday, August 7, 2008

Resveratrol - Effects and uses

By Denise Richards

Resveratrol is produced by certain plants to protect them from stress caused by the environment. It is a phytoalexin which is a byproduct of a plant's natural defense mechanism. Resveratrol is found in huge amounts in the skin of grapes and this antioxidant protects the grapes from extreme heat and fungal diseases. It is therefore found abundantly in cooler climates. Wine is understandably one of the largest sources of this powerful antioxidant.

Recent studies have shown some interesting facts about this antioxidant. Resveratrol is seen to reduce the aggregation of platelets in the blood thereby reducing the risk of strokes, clots and even heart attacks. Moreover, resveratrol helps in prevention of damage of cells resulting from the presence of free radicals. This powerful antioxidant is also known to fight cancer effectively in all stages.

Though the curative effects of resveratrol are only in the research stages, this antioxidant shows a lot of promise in the cure of heart diseases and cancer. It reduces the risk of heart attacks and clotting of blood with the property by which it reduces the aggregation of platelets in the blood. Resveratrol also shows promise of damage prevention of free occurring cells. This property shows promise in the treatment of cancer.

Wine is an excellent source of resveratrol. It is found more in red wine as the fermentation period is long. Another factor influencing the amount of resveratrol in wine is the environment the grapes are grown in. If they are from humid conditions, resveratrol content is found to be higher. This is due to the fact that grapes tend to be affected by fungal diseases in humid areas due to the moisture content.

Due to more fermentation period, red wine is a better source of this antioxidant than the white wine. Apart from grapes, blueberries are another excellent natural source of resveratrol. The Japanese Knotweed contains resveratrol in good quantities.

Blueberries are another natural source of resveratrol. A lot of antioxidants are present in blueberries along with resveratrol. Peanuts and peanut sprouts are also found to be excellent natural sources of resveratrol.

Resveratrol show promise in inducing differentiation in promyelocytic leukemia cells in humans. It also shows potential in inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase which is an enzyme particularly found in proliferating cells during DNA synthesis. The most positive factor in all this is that resveratrol shows a lot of positive potential in cancer treatment due to the fact that it produces negligible toxins which affect the blood forming cells.

Apart from these naturally occurring sources, resveratrol is also produced by companies as diet supplements. These supplements are made in the form of either powders or tablets and are derived from the natural sources like skins of grapes, seeds of grapes, Japanese knotweed, red wine, etc.

Resveratrol is sometimes offered in the form of a transdermal patch. This is similar to the nicotine patch. Apart from this, it is also manufactured in liquid form for easier consumption. It is always better to consult with the doctor before taking these supplements as a prevention or cure for any condition.

There is no harm however in taking natural grapes, peanuts, blueberries and such known to contain resveratrol in reasonable quantities rather than taking supplements that contain resveratrol, or in powder and patch forms.

About the Author:

No comments: