What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol, a phytoalexin produced by certain plants to naturally fight bacteria and fungi, is proving to be one of the most promising natural discoveries of our time. In laboratory testings of mouse and rat, the substance has demonstrated unprecedented benefits in the areas of longevity, anti-aging, weight loss, cancer and cardio-vascular protection.

Resveratrol Molecule
Resveratrol Molecule

Popularity Of Resveratrol

Originally isolated in 1940, little was made of the substance until 1992, when its presence in red wine was suggested to be behind the drink’s heart-protective qualities. From that point, research on the substance has developed considerably, leading to many significant results that has attracted growing attention.

One recent report, for instance, concluded that resveratrol may be more effective than chemotherapy in treating certain types of cancers, while another has suggested that it can prevent the degradation of bodily functions as we age.

Sources Of Resveratrol

Resveratrol can be found in several fruits and plants, including grapes (particularly the skin), peanuts, mulberries, blueberries, some pine trees and Japanese knotweed. Though used to explain the French paradox (the fact that the high-fat French diet has not led to higher incidence of heart disease) many times, red wine is not believed to contain enough resveratrol to create any significant health benefits, based on the doses required during experiments.

At the moment, nutritional supplements in the form of pills and capsules may be the best source for the substance.

Early versions of resveratrol products were sourced from ground dried grapes and mulberries, although most new supplements in the market are derived from less expensive and more concentrated Japanese knotweed.

Resveratrol In Humans

While resveratrol has fostered amazing benefits in laboratory tests, the same results are yet to be verified in human subjects. The Food and Drug Administration considers it an investigational drug which requires further study.

As such, there is no recommended daily allowance for resveratrol yet, although most supplements come in 250 mg doses, which most experts seem to agree is a sufficient amount to encourage positive results.

Resveratrol on ABC News

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