Since time immemorial, humans have advanced themselves towards one single goal, which is ‘to be immortal.’ This quest to beat death has perhaps begun and mankind is discovering newer ways to live longer, healthier and enriching lives. Resveratrol is one such mysterious compound which belongs to the category of small polyphenols stilbene. So far, no conclusive benefits have been discovered, yet this compound has been claimed to possess anti-aging properties, cardiovascular benefits and numerous other health benefits which can significantly improve the quality of one’s life.
It is a phytoalexin (plant toxin) which is produced in several plants as a defensive response against foreign elements like fungi, bacteria, microbial attacks or to withstand against harsh physical conditions like draught, humidity, sun’s ultraviolet radiation or unfavorable temperatures. More than 100 plants synthesize resveratrol naturally. It is found in grapes, berries, peanuts, dark chocolate to name a few. Resveratrol (C14H12O3) is commonly identified as ‘wine extract’ or ‘wine pill,’ since red wine made from grapes is the most common source of resveratrol.
Resveratrol has a bundle of useful health benefits. It is an anti-oxidant, thus a natural detoxifier. Resveratrol is anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, has cardiovascular benefits and anti-aging properties. Let us understand how resveratrol benefits in each of the above:
1. Extended Youth & Longevity: One reason why resveratrol is spreading like wild fire is that it is one of the most effective anti-aging formula out there. Resveratrol slows down the aging process, expanding median age. It has been claimed to also actually reverse elongate lifespan using Caloric Restriction (CR) which is the reduction in intake of energy in the absence of malnutrition. The compound will help you keep your exuberance for a longer time and enjoy an extended youth.
2. Reverses Age-Related Problems: Resveratrol boosts several hormones which enhance skin and reduce visible signs of aging. It protects the skin against external factors like environment, pollution and radiation and helps maintain the radiant glow of youth for the longest time. Say goodbye to photo-aging, age lines and wrinkles.
3. Cardiovascular Benefits: The compound resveratrol lowers the LDL (the ‘bad’ Cholesterol), and keeps blood vessels ideally dilated ensuring a smooth blood circulation by preventing the arteries against ‘oxidative stress’. It also boosts HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) and guards against cholesterol buildup.
4. Stalling Alzheimer’s Disease: Delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is yet another health benefit of resveratrol. It helps in reduce plaque formation in the brain which accelerates memory loss. Dementia, a pre-condition to Alzheimer’s is also kept at bay.
5. Complete Detoxifier: Pure resveratrol has oxidative properties and thus it cleans the body of any toxins by activating detox enzymes and detoxification pathways. A glass of wine mildly detoxes your body over night. A capsule can do much more.
6. General Health Benefits: Other than the ones mentioned here, there are other potential health benefits of resveratrol like anti-inflammatory properties, lowering blood pressure, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Readily absorbed and swiftly distributed inside the body, resveratrol is effective in stalling and slowing down the salient aging effects like osteoporosis, sarcopenia, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
Resveratrol has not yet received any clearance/nod from any credible institution. The US FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) has not yet approved the compound. However, manufacturers are already leveraging the high powered profile of this drug and are already in the fray to capitalize on this opportunity. Supermarket shelves and online stores are loaded with resveratrol supplements, which are mostly extracted from a plant called Japanese Knotweed, this plant produces Resveratrol in large quantities.
It can also be consumed by eating berries, grapes, drinking wine etc. Apart from tablet supplements, it is also available in solution form and as transdermal patches. The dosage could be anything from 5mg to 500 mg.
You should avoid using resveratrol supplements or using in any other form if:
1. You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Children below 18 years of age.
3. People with bleeding disorders.
4. Pre and post surgery/operation.
Resveratrol fixes the smallest functional unit in our body; the cell. IT protects a cell’s DNA, and prevents cell damage induced by ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are unstable atoms which can be a result of pollution, sunlight, or produced inside our body post natural burning of fats. These free radicals lead to cancerous tumors, aging and brain degeneration. Resveratrol also activates Sirtuins enzymes which help in slowing down aging. Resveratrol has long been associated with ‘The French Paradox’ which discusses how French people undergo minimum heart problems even though they consume a lot of cheese and fats. Red wine which French consume regularly is credited with neutralizing the effect and keeping their heart healthy.
So far, no side effects or adverse effects have been reported. However, no official clearance has also not been stamped on it. It is definitely worth to keep a sharp eye out on the progress of resveratrol research as any conclusive results can be groundbreaking.
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