A Healthy Heart
Resveratrol is a nutrient found in berries and herbs, and it is the main ingredient responsible for wine’s touted health benefits. Its positive effects have shown up in heart health, immunity and inflammation. Studies have shown that it reduces cholesterol and triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the incidence of plaque formation. This in turn leads to a reduced rate of strokes and heart attacks. Resveratrol also works as an antioxidant. It reduces the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is thought to be the initiating event in artery hardening. It also helps regulate inflammation by down-regulating the production of proinflammatory signals.
Resveratrol has been shown to work as an anti-cancer agent, blocking events that occur during cancer initiation, promotion and progression. It inhibits abnormal cellular proliferation, promoting regulated cell death of rogue cells. It also prevents blood flow to tumors to restrict the growth of cancerous formations.
A Long Life
Most impressively, resveratrol is a calorie restriction mimetic. Calorie restriction involves an approximate 40% reduction in caloric intake while maintaining levels of nutrients, and has been shown to increase the lifespan of a number of species. Resveratrol shows many of the beneficial effects of caloric restriction, making it a helpful aid for a long and healthy life.
Caloric Restriction (CR) is the only proven method of increasing life span in numerous and diverse species. Calorie restriction refers to an approximately 40% reduction in caloric intake, usually accompanied by a maintenance level of nutrients. ‘Caloric restriction mimetics’ are compounds that enable organisms to parallel many of the beneficial biological effects of a caloric restriction diet, and among the most prominent of these is a substance known as resveratrol.
Resveratrol and Heart Health
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in various berries, peanuts, rhubarb and a number of oriental herbs including the Japanese Giant Knotweed. Studies with resveratrol have reported a diverse range of physiological and biochemical effects, particularly in the areas of heart health, cancer, immunity and inflammation. Other beneficial cardiovascular effects include the reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides, dilation of blood vessels (hence a blood pressure lowering effect), platelets being less “sticky” (anti-aggregatory effect) - and consequently a lower incidence of plaque formation and a reduced rate of strokes and heart attacks. Resveratrol exerts antioxidant effects, reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which many believe to be the initiating event in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Resveratrol also inhibits unfavourable cellular proliferation and up-regulates apoptosis or programmed cell death.
Resveratrol and Cancer
Resveratrol has been shown to down-regulate the production of chemicals involved in the cause, signaling and amplification of inflammation. Resveratrol’s anti-cancer effects have been shown to occur at all three stages of cancer - initiation, promotion and progression. Resveratrol helps to block blood flow to the tumour, restricting the growth and spread of the cancer cells, and to inhibit various enzymes involved. The modulation of the activity of two groups of enzymes – Phase 1 and Phase 2 - also plays an important role in the detoxification and anti-cancer effects of resveratrol. The Phase 1 family of enzymes normally makes compounds more carcinogenic or toxic and resveratrol has an inhibiting effect on them. Alternatively, stimulation of the Phase 2 class of enzymes helps facilitate the removal of toxins and carcinogens from the body by making these compounds even more soluble and easier to excrete.
The plants that produce resveratrol do so as a response to stressors such as fungal infection or ultraviolet exposure. Resveratrol has been shown to enhance life extension much like caloric restriction in several species. There is considerable excitement regarding the use of resveratrol as a CR Mimetic. A recent study demonstrated that resveratrol in high doses offset the effects of an unhealthy high-calorie diet in mice. Resveratrol is a molecule that occurs in nature in two forms or as mirror-images, namely the trans and cis forms. It is the trans version of the resveratrol that is the active form that has been used in all the investigations. The cis form may be at best inactive or at worst inhibit the activity of its mirror image - the trans form. There are high quality, naturally extracted sources that yield 98% plus trans activity. Red wine in moderation has been touted for its promotion of a long and healthy life, and it is resveratrol that is responsible for its beneficial effects. However, in order to obtain this substance in amounts that are commensurate with even the most conservative trials, one needs to consume approximately 1,000 glasses of red wine each day! Each capsule of AOR’s Acta-Resveratrol contains enough resveratrol to equal that found in approximately 180 glasses of red wine.