Resveratrol benefits your health in incredible ways. Research shows that this plant-based antioxidant can fight cancer cells and protect you from cardiovascular disease.
Resveratrol is a plant compound that has generated a great deal of excitement in the health and wellness community.
You can find it in grape skin and peanuts, as well as a few other plant foods. It’s perhaps most famous for being associated with red wine. Resveratrol supplements are available that allow you to easily up your intake.
The research makes it clear: Resveratrol benefits wellness in potent ways. For example, it can lower blood pressure and improve heart health. It also has brain-protective properties.
Let’s take a closer look at the beneficial effect of resveratrol.
In this article, we will:
- Define resveratrol, and explain the effect it has on the body
- Discuss key resveratrol benefits
- List nutritious resveratrol foods that can support and improve your health
- Discuss resveratrol supplements and dosage
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a natural compound that’s found in plants. It’s part of a group of compounds known as polyphenols; more specifically, it’s a stilbenoid polyphenol. A stilbenoid such as resveratrol benefits plants by providing protection against pathogens such as fungi and bacteria.
You can find resveratrol in more than 70 different species of plants. It’s found in especially high quantities in grape skin. Grape seeds also have high resveratrol content.
Resveratrol’s value is linked to the relationship between free radicals and antioxidants.
Your body produces compounds called free radicals, and they can cause unwanted health consequences if their levels become too high in your body. When there are too many free radicals present in your body, they can create a state known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage your DNA. It can increase your risk of getting cancer and cardiovascular disease, and it can accelerate the aging process.
Antioxidants are molecules that combat free radicals. Research indicates that resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that battles free radicals and inflammation. As such, this plant compound is capable of providing all the health benefits a superior antioxidant can bring.
As mentioned, you can get dietary resveratrol through certain plant sources. You can also ramp up your intake of this antioxidant by taking a resveratrol supplement.
Resveratrol benefits your health in these ways:
1. Supports healthy blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, it can increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. High blood pressure is a common affliction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition affects nearly half of all adults in the United States.
Studies show resveratrol benefits the treatment of high blood pressure. This power-packed plant compound may be able to help lower high blood pressure to healthy levels.
When your blood pressure is high, it places pressure on the walls of your arteries. This pressure can ultimately damage the arteries and the heart. One 2015 review indicated that a high dose of resveratrol worked to reduce pressure placed on the artery walls with each heartbeat.
How is resveratrol able to produce these results? The answer may lie with nitric oxide. Studies show resveratrol benefits blood vessels by helping the body produce more nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels to relax.
2. May improve cholesterol
If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels, it can increase your risk of heart disease. According to recent CDC estimates, more than 20 percent of American adults age 20 and older have cholesterol levels that are deemed unhealthy.
Not all cholesterol is bad for your health.
There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL cholesterol is the one that causes health problems. When it oxidizes, it can create plaque that slows the flow of blood through your arteries. HDL cholesterol is different in that it brings health benefits. It can help the body cleanse itself and detoxify.
Research shows that resveratrol promotes healthy cholesterol levels; as such, it may provide useful cardiovascular benefits. In a 2016 animal study, resveratrol decreased the level of harmful LDL cholesterol while increasing the level of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
3. Supports brain health and cognitive function
Many people experience cognitive decline as they age. Resveratrol may help slow this decline and support the health of your brain.
Scientists speculate that resveratrol benefits brain health thanks to its impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, resveratrol is able to discourage the formation of protein fragments called beta-amyloids. When beta-amyloids accumulate in the brain, they form plaques that are a key indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. May help fight cancer
In both test-tube studies and animal studies, resveratrol has been shown to suppress cancer cells. This plant compound has produced beneficial results in studies involving the following types of cancer:
- Gastric cancer
- Skin cancer
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
Resveratrol benefits cancer treatment by slowing the growth of cancer cells. It also changes gene expression in ways that prevent cancer cells from spreading.
5. Benefits women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that’s common among women of reproductive age. Women who have this hormonal disorder may experience infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods. They may also develop excess male hormone (androgen) levels. Polycystic ovary syndrome can make it more difficult for a woman to become pregnant.
Research shows that resveratrol benefits women with polycystic ovary syndrome, mainly by reducing the excess androgen levels that come with this condition.
6. May relieve joint pain
Arthritis is a painful condition that’s more prevalent than ever here in the U.S. It can cause joint pain that inhibits mobility.
Recent CDC estimates reveal that roughly 54 million American adults have received an arthritis diagnosis. It’s estimated that by 2040, this number will rise to 78 million.
Arthritis can decrease bone density and cause cartilage to break down. As cartilage deteriorates in this way, it can cause joint pain that makes it difficult to carry out everyday tasks.
Studies show that resveratrol may help prevent cartilage deterioration. By doing this, it may be able to relieve the joint pain experienced by those who wrestle with arthritis.
7. May benefit diabetes treatment and prevention
Resveratrol benefits diabetes treatment by increasing insulin sensitivity and battling insulin resistance. It also has a positive effect on conditions caused by diabetes, such as diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy. Additionally, resveratrol can help lower blood sugar to healthy levels.
Interestingly, studies show resveratrol may provide more benefits for those with diabetes than for those who are healthy. In one study, resveratrol was a more effective antioxidant in rats with diabetes than in rats who didn’t have this condition.
8. Supports healthy weight loss
Obesity is a common problem in developed countries. It’s estimated that there are more than 300 million obese people worldwide. This health problem comes with conditions that can shorten life span and reduce your quality of life.
Research shows that resveratrol may be a useful supplement for people who are overweight or obese. A health benefit of this antioxidant is that it may help the body burn fat more efficiently; it may even help prevent the development of fat cells. By doing this, it can help the body drop excess pounds and achieve a healthier weight.
These resveratrol foods can aid you on your health journey:
- Red grapes
- Red wine
- Peanut butter
- Grape juice
- Dark chocolate
Resveratrol supplements and dosage
Looking to augment your dietary resveratrol? Try resveratrol supplementation. It’s a quick and convenient way to add this polyphenol to your health routine.
Many resveratrol supplements contain extracts of the root of a plant called Polygonum cuspidatum — also known as Japanese knotweed or Fallopia japonica. Resveratrol supplements are also made with red wine extracts and grape extracts.
In the studies done so far, resveratrol is not known to be toxic, and it is well tolerated by humans. However, at high doses of 5,000 milligrams or more, there may be gastrointestinal side effects such as flatulence and diarrhea.
So, how much resveratrol should you take each day when consuming this dietary supplement? The most common dosages range from 250-500 milligrams per day. But some people consume 2,000 milligrams of resveratrol daily; that dosage is the amount used in many of the resveratrol studies that prove its health benefits.
What about drug interactions? Resveratrol may interact with blood thinners such as ibuprofen and warfarin in ways that cause excessive bleeding. This happens because resveratrol is a natural blood thinner that decreases blood clotting.
To capitalize on the ways in which resveratrol benefits your health, stock your pantry with foods that are rich in this nutrient, such as grapes and peanuts. And add a resveratrol supplement to your routine to get a convenient dose of this potent antioxidant.
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