You may be aware that the Mediterranean diet includes red wine along with generous portions of pomegranates, grapes, peanuts, olive oil, etc. Perhaps you also know how red wine can lower cholesterol. This can be mainly due to the plant compound called resveratrol found in red wine.
In recent times, the consumption of resveratrol supplements has been increasing because of their much-hyped health benefits.
Here’s all you need to know about why resveratrol is good and why you should take it in supplement form.
Where Can You Find Resveratrol and How Does It Work?
Resveratrol imparts its wellness-boosting potential to red wine and a lot of delicious substances. It is a constituent of grapes, lingonberries, cranberries, blueberries, mulberries, pistachios, peanuts, and other foods.
You can find resveratrol in the seeds and skin of red and purple grapes. Red wine has a high concentration of these parts as they are involved in the fermentation process.
Basically, plants need to battle the growth of fungi, bacteria, and other microbes. These fruiting trees also produce the compound to withstand drought or make up for the lack of nutrients. The Japanese knotweed produces the highest amounts of resveratrol in its roots to combat environmental stresses.
Also, grapes cultivated in humid environments have higher concentrations of resveratrol than those grown in arid regions. One reason could be that humid-area grapes need to produce more resveratrol to fight damaging fungus.
Pollution, fatty foods, and other lifestyle habits can lead to the increase of free radicals, causing oxidative stress. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that offers your body protection from unstable free radicals. It protects your cellular DNA and prevents further damage by inhibiting pro-inflammatory factors.
Health Benefits of Resveratrol
According to lab-based and animal studies conducted on resveratrol, it acts as an antioxidant. Human research primarily focused on the use of its supplemental forms. When you take resveratrol supplements, you can potentially decrease high blood pressure, protect brain function, and improve overall health.
Below are some of its health benefits and the ways it achieves them:
One of the main conclusions you can draw from the studies is that resveratrol may extend your lifespan. In certain animals, yeast, and insects, the intake of the compound prolonged cellular survival. Specific types of red wines also showed the potential to achieve longevity in rodents, and it is believed that it’s due to the resveratrol.
Low Blood Pressure
Resveratrol promises antioxidant properties, which can aid in stabilizing your blood pressure. When taken in regular doses, these supplements can decrease the pressure exerted on the arteries and walls. This artery-wall pressure, known as systolic blood pressure, can go up with age.
It could indicate stiffened arteries, which is a high-risk factor for heart problems. Resveratrol seems to lower blood pressure by producing more nitric oxide that relaxes the blood vessels.
Resveratrol exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can initiate a chain of reactions that help in brain protection. By interfering with beta-amyloids, a kind of protein fragments, they can help prevent or slow down cognitive decline. Studies strongly back its potential to fight age-related issues like Alzheimer’s disease.
In certain mammals, resveratrol has prevented diabetes-related complications. By stopping enzymes from converting glucose into a sugar alcohol called sorbitol, it combats oxidative stress. This can increase insulin sensitivity and prevent future cell damage.
Besides, there are indications that it can reduce inflammation, which, if ignored, can cause chronic diseases. It can activate a protein called AMPK that helps you metabolize glucose and lower blood sugar levels. Also, diabetic rats showed more improvement with resveratrol intake.
Findings from preliminary studies in human clinical trials imply that resveratrol has anti-cancer potential. Resveratrol was found to be successful in suppressing tumour regrowth in cancer patients. It can be therapeutic as a chemopreventive agent as it inhibits glucose uptake by cancer cells.
Randomized clinical trials also show that it may reverse multidrug resistance. But being a phytoestrogen, its effect on human hormones has to be studied deeply.
How to Take Resveratrol?
Since resveratrol is available in nature, the safest way to consume it would be to include these foods in your diet. You can take wine, juices, and smoothies made with these grapes and berries. However, you may not receive the necessary amounts of resveratrol.
This is where supplements can help you. Resveratrol can be found as dietary supplements extracted from grape seeds, Japanese knotweed, or red wine. But the purity and concentration can vary with the extraction process and the plant.
You can take them as capsules, tablets, or in powder form. You can get the most benefits when you take the pills or powder by mouth. Some sellers may have transdermal patches, but oral absorption of resveratrol is more effective.
How Much to Take?
You can take up to 250-500mg once every day, which is the recommended dosage by several medical associations. But you can also increase the intake to 1500mg per day for durations up to three months for better results.
With your doctors’ go-ahead, you can consume a higher dosage ranging between 2000mg and 3000mg. But this practice should also be for a limited time, such as 2-6 months. To manage your blood pressure and reduce the pressure on artery walls, you can take 0.15mg.
Again, the correct dosage of resveratrol must only be determined by a medical professional who knows your unique health conditions. Clinical trials indicate that 2.5g to 5g per day can be safe for most. If you are consuming it to support better health, and not to fight any diseases or illnesses, it would be wise to stick to lower quantities.
Possible Side Effects
Resveratrol supplements are considered effective and safe when taken orally. You can have them with or without your regular food. Typically, experts advise you to take resveratrol at night before you go to sleep.
There are no severe consequences observed, but you can have common side effects like:
- Stomach cramps
Resveratrol is vegan-friendly and gluten-free, and hence, it is suitable for most people. That said, everyone’s body type is different, and they have various tolerance levels. In any case, ensure that you buy the supplements from a trustworthy provider to ensure the best results.