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Resveratrol – What Is It?

Resveratrol – what is it?

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Resveratrol is a plant compound that can be found in red wine, grapes, some berries and peanuts. Its consumption has been associated with a number of health benefits, including protecting brain function and lowering blood pressure.

Key takeaways: 

1. Resveratrol acts like an antioxidant and can be found in red wine, grapes, berries and peanuts.

2. It was found to decrease arterial stiffness, which can ultimately cause hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke.

3. Studies also linked its consumption to lowered blood pressure, reduced “bad” cholesterol levels and decreased age-related cognitive decline.

 

What is it? 

Resveratrol is a plant compound, known as polyphenol, that acts like an antioxidant. It tends to be more concentrated in the skin and seeds of grapes and berries. These parts of the grape are included in the fermentation of red wine, which is why it’s particularly high in resveratrol.

 

Health benefits 

Studies have mostly used resveratrol in supplement form, rather than natural food sources, to determine its benefits. A recent study found that daily supplementation decreased arterial stiffness, which can be the cause of adverse cardiovascular events, including increased blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke. Other studies found that resveratrol may lower systolic blood pressure by helping to produce more nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to relax. What’s more, the antioxidant content in resveratrol may be responsible for a decrease in LDL cholesterol (the bad form of cholesterol) and oxidised LDL (LDL oxidation contributes to plaque build-up in artery walls). Finally, researchers believe that resveratrol found in red wine may be responsible for a reduction in age-related cognitive decline.

 

WORK CITED: 

Gambini J., Ingles M., Olaso G. et al. (2015). Properties of resveratrol: in vitro and in vivo studies about metabolism, bioavailability and biological effects in animal models and humans. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 837042.

Weiskirchen S. and Weiskirchen R. (2016). Resveratrol: how much wine do you have to drink to stay healthy? Advances in Nutrition, 7(4), pp.706-718.

Liu Y., Ma W., Zhang P. et al. (2015). Effect of resveratrol on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Nutrition, 34(1), pp.27-34.

Xia N., Forstermann U. and Li H. (2014). Resveratrol and endothelial nitric oxide. Molecules, 19(10), pp.16102-21.

Tome-Carneiro J., Gonzalvez M., Larrosa M. et al. (2012). Consumption of a grape extract supplement containing resveratrol decreases oxidized LDL and ApoB in patients undergoing primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a triple-blind, 6 month follow-up, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 56(5), pp.810-821.

Bonnefont-Rousselot D. (2016). Resveratrol and Cardiovascular Diseases. Nutrients, 8(5).

Granzotto A. and Zatta P. (2014). Resveratrol and Alzheimer’s disease: message in a bottle on red wine and cognition. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, pp.95.

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