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Resveratrol - modern elixer of youth

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Monday, June 8th 2009

Resveratrol is the latest Antioxidant substance to hit the world wide market. Does it really deserve all the media attention it has attracted? Read on to find out more or visit here for our most popular Resveratrol supplement.

Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant compound that may provide protection for a myriad of degenerative disorders. Studies have shown the many benefits of resveratrol for fat loss, cardiovascular health, reduction of insulin resistance, alzheimers, anti-carcinogenic, and its anti-inflammatory effect. It has also been shown to extend life span in mammals by as much as 15% (10 human years) by increasing the activity of sirtuins, which prolong the life span of living organisms.

This plant based anti-oxidant has been deemed the "modern elixir of youth", mopping up free radicals and preventing oxidative damage associated with aging. It is yet to be seen whether there are any long term side effects of using a resveratrol supplement.

Some of these activities have been implicated in the cardiovascular protective effects attributed to resveratrol and also to red wine. To this day

Prior to 2002, there had been no previous studies describing the potential effects of resveratrol on lifespan extension. However in the last 5 years, several researchers have reported that resveratrol is a potent activator of sirtuin enzymatic activity, mimics the beneficial effects of caloric restriction, retards the aging process and increases longevity in a number of organisms.

In addition, resveratrol seems to be effective in delaying the onset of a variety of age-related diseases in mammals, such as rodents. Therefore, it is possible that resveratrol may play a role in extending life duration and may act as an anti-aging agent.

Resveratrol in high doses has been shown to extend lifespan in some studies in invertebrates and to prevent early mortality in mice fed a high-fat diet. In a US study, researchers examined the effect of a low dose of dietary resveratrol and a calorie restricted (CR) diet, on the lifespan of mice. They fed mice from middle age (14-months) to old age (30-months) either a control diet, a low dose of resveratrol, or a CR diet and examined genome-wide transcriptional profiles.

The researchers reported a striking transcriptional overlap of CR and
resveratrol in heart, skeletal muscle and brain. Both dietary interventions inhibited gene expression profiles associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle aging, and prevented age-related cardiac dysfunction. Dietary resveratrol also mimicked the effects of CR in insulin mediated glucose uptake in the muscle.

Gene expression profiling suggested that both CR and resveratrol might
retard some aspects of aging, through alterations in chromatin structure and transcription. Resveratrol, at doses that could be readily achieved in humans, as demonstrated to fulfill the definition of a dietary compound that mimicked some aspects of CR and retarded some aging parameters.

Resveratrol also possesses chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic properties and has been shown to increase lifespan in yeast and metazoans, including mice. Genetic evidence and in vitro enzymatic measurements indicate that the deacetylase Sir2/SIRT1, an enzyme promoting stress resistance and aging, is the target of resveratrol. Similarly, down-regulation of insulin-like pathways, of which PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) is a key mediator, promotes longevity and is an attractive strategy to fight cancer.

In France, Fröjdö S. et al showed that resveratrol inhibited, in vitro and in cultured muscle cell lines, class IA PI3K and its downstream signalling at the same concentration range at which it activated sirtuins. The observations defined class IA PI3K as a target of resveratrol that might contribute to the longevity-promoting and anticancer properties, and identified resveratrol as a natural class-specific PI3K inhibitor.

In the 1997 study reported in the journal Science, resveratrol was found to exhibit major inhibitory activity against cancer initiation, promotion and progression. Specifically, its antioxidant and anti-mutagenic potency and induction of phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes were seen as counter to carcinogenic initiation.

Resveratrol hindered cyclooxygenase and hydroperoxidase and initiated anti-inflammatory effects, thereby demonstrating anti-promotion activity. The induction of human promyelocytic leukemia cell differentiation by resveratrol also thwarted the progress of carcinogenic activity. In addition, resveratrol demonstrated significant inhibitory effects in vitro with carcinogen-induced preneoplastic lesions in mouse mammary glands, and in vivo with tumorogenesis in the two-stage mouse skin cancer model. The data suggests that resveratrol, a common constituent of the human diet, may be used as a potential cancer chemopreventive agent in humans.

Because of lack of early diagnosis and poor therapeutic responsiveness, median survival in patients with pancreatic cancer is less than 6 months, and survival beyond 5 years is rare. Thus, a novel dimension in chemotherapeutic agents for pancreatic cancer would be beneficial to control this metastatic disease. The effect of resveratrol in pancreatic cancer was investigated at Northwestern University Medical School in USA. The potential role of resveratrol was evaluated on pancreatic cancer cell proliferation using two human pancreatic cancer cell lines, PANC-1 and AsPC-1.

The result showed that resveratrol inhibited proliferation of both PANC-1 and AsPC-1. Cell number of both cancer cell lines was also significantly decreased, following resveratrol treatment.

These findings suggest that resveratrol may have a potent anti-proliferative effect on human pancreatic cancer with induction of apoptosis. Hence resveratrol is likely to be valuable for the management and prevention of human pancreatic cancer.

In a published article in journal Nutrition, Japanese researchers found that resveratrol significantly reduced the tumour volume, tumour weight and metastasis to the lung in mice bearing highly metastatic Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) tumours. In addition, resveratrol inhibited DNA synthesis most strongly in LLC cells, increased apoptosis in LLC cells, and decreased the S phase population. Resveratrol inhibited tumour-induced neovascularization in an in vivo model. Moreover, resveratrol significantly inhibited the formation of capillary-like tube formation from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), and the binding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to HUVEC.

The researchers suggest that the anti-tumour and anti-metastatic activities of resveratrol might be due to the inhibition of DNA synthesis in LLC cells and the inhibition of LLC-induced neovascularization and tube formation (angiogensis) of HUVEC by resveratrol.

Resveratrol has strong antioxidative properties that have been associated with the protective effects of red wine consumption, against coronary heart disease, which is commonly known as "the French paradox". In a Korean study, Jang J.H. and Surh Y.J. investigated the effects of resveratrol on beta-amyloid-induced oxidative cell death in cultured rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. There has been compelling evidence supporting the idea that beta-amyloid-induced cytotoxicity is mediated through the generation of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs).

PC12 cells treated with beta-amyloid exhibited increased accumulation of intracellular ROI and underwent apoptotic death. Beta-amyloid treatment also led to the decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase, an increase in the Bax/Bcl-X(L) ratio, and activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase.

Resveratrol was found to attenuate cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and intracellular ROI formation. The polyphenol also thwarted other effects of the beta-amyloid peptide, which is believed to account for the plaques that are characteristic of brain tissue in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

In India, Palsamy P. and Subramanian S. carried out a study to evaluate the anti-diabetic properties of resveratrol in streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced experimental diabetes in rats. The diabetic rats orally treated with resveratrol for 30 days resulted in significant decrease in the levels of blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, blood urea, serum uric acid, serum creatinine and diminished activities of pathophysiological enzymes such as aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase and alkaline phosphatase.

The anti-hyperglycemic nature of resveratrol is also evidenced from the improvement in the levels of plasma insulin and haemoglobin. Further, the results are comparable with glyclazide, an oral standard anti-diabetic drug.

Thus, these findings suggest that resveratrol may be considered as an
effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Many studies have shown that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been ascribed as having health benefits that help to prevent cancer and coronary heart disease. A treatment that combines anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory actions may be desirable for alleviating many skin conditions that range in severity.

In summary resveratrol exhibits a number of biological activities in the human body. These include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumour, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic properties. Resveratrol may also mimic the effects of calorie restriction and retard the aspects of aging.

Together with grape seed and red wine, resveratrol is a potent antioxidant boost, which helps to protect the body against free radical damage that is normally associated with premature aging and disease. It also supports a healthy cardiovascular and immune system for optimal wellness. You can find all these ingredients in this resveratrol supplement.

References available on request.

View the 60 minutes video on Resveratrol here.

The following products are all useful Natural Antioxidants:

Astaxanthin Advanced Immune Support
CoQ10 300mg + Vitamin D3
Enzogenol High Potency with ACE and Selenium
Enzogenol 120mg
Green Tea
Seleno Met
Vitamin E
Resveratrol Age Defence

Related health information can be found here:

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Related articles can be found here:

Bilberry - a major antioxidant for the brain and eyes
Minerals - the First Step to Well-being
Pau d'Arco inner bark - anti-fungal, anti-cancer
Selenium Boosted In Cancer War

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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