Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a compound that was discovered for its healing properties at Harvard Medical School (over the past 10 years) and has been studied at universities and laboratories across the U.S.A. and the world.

It’s benefits have widely publicized and linked to the treatment of a host of ailments including diabetes, memory problems, cardio vascular issues, cancers, and increased energy and endurance. Nutra recommends the use of Resveratrol supplement for virtually all adults.

Resveratrol Products

Resveratrol supplements from polygonum cuspidatum are available commercially in several concentrations.

A number of companies have been producing and selling Resveratrol supplements for the past 10 years. These companies include Biotivia, Vinomis Laboratories, RevGenetics and Bioforte (all of these are recommended by Nutra)

There are two primary considerations when selecting  Resveratrol supplements: 1) amount of Resveratrol (Nutra recommends a minimum of 250 mg daily), and 2) purity (Nutra recommends a minimum of 98% purity). The lower purities (below 50%) are NOT recommended, and usually contain large quantities of emodin, which can have unpleasant side effects such as stomach upset usually due to the presence of quantities of emodin, which can cause side effects such as stomach upset.

Giant Knotweed plant (below)

Polygonum Cuspidatum - Japanese Knotweed - Japanese Knotweed

Resveratrol, a potent phytoalexin, was originally identified in the 1940s. The most concentrated known natural source is red wine and red wine grapes, and the Asian medicinal plant  (Giant Knotweed – polygonum cuspidatum). Resveratrol, together with other bioactive ingredients in these plants, has been used as a botanical dietary supplement in herbal formulations for thousands of years in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Indian medicine for their health producing effects.

Resveratrol Molecule

In the human diet the greatest source of Resveratrol and associated polyphenols comes from the skins of red wine grapes. Resveratrol acts as the plant’s antibiotic or fungicide to ward off attacks, particularly from various fungi. During wine making, the Resveratrol is concentrated. The type of grape, climate, and soil are all factors that influence the level of Resveratrol found in red wine. The longer the red grape skin is in contact with the wine and juice, the higher the Resveratrol content. Red wine typically has a Resveratrol concentration of 3-6%.

 

However, even though Resveratrol is found is red wine grapes, it is not feasible or economically viable to concentrate Resveratrol from grapes for dietary supplements. Instead, the Giant Knotweed plant is used for this purpose.

Resveratrol chemically is found in two forms, depending on the structure of the molecule. Trans-Resveratrol is the more active form (as compared to cis-Resveratrol), preferred for use in supplements. Consumers should ONLY purchase products containing Trans-Resveratrol.

 

Studies:

Increase in lifespan and healthspan. The 2006 Harvard Medical School Study that fueled all the excitement about Resveratrol. In the words of the HMS press release… “Small Molecule Increases Lifespan and “Healthspan” of Obese Mice. Risk of Death Cut By 31 Percent for Obese Mice Treated with Compound, and Treated Mice Seen Living as Long as Lean Mice. In Obese Mice, Molecule Reversed Nearly All Pathways Activated In Mice By High Calorie Diets. Findings Suggest Broad Implications for the Treatment of Age-related Diseases, Including Diabetes and Heart Disease.”

Reduction and inhibition of intestinal tumors. A study at South Dakota State University found that Resveratrol and grape extract significantly decreased the incidence and multiplicity of tumors in the small intestine in rats.

Resveratrol may block colon cancer. Dr. Randall Holcombe, director of clinical research at the Cancer Center at UC Irvine, followed up on previous in vitro studies showing that Resveratrol blocks a cellular signaling pathway known as the WNT pathway. The WNT pathway has been linked to more than 85 percent of sporadic colon cancers, which is the most common form of colon cancer.

Resveratrol inhibits growth of human colon cancer cells by 70%. A 2000 study by the Digestive Oncology Laboratory in Strasbourg, France, investigated the anticancer properties of Resveratrol.

Resveratrol prevented tumor growth. At Ahime University in Japan, moderate doses (2.5 and 10 mg/kg) of Resveratrol significantly prevented the growth of tumors and reduced the size (by 46%) and metstasis (by 56%) of lung cancer tumors by in mice. 

Dietary antioxidant flavonoids protect against post-menopausal breast cancer. Research study at Columbia University showed a 25-50% reduction in risk of tumor formation.

Resveratrol induced marked growth inhibition in five human cancer cell lines. In a 2002 epidemiological study at Columbia University, Resveratrol induced growth inhibition, S-phase arrest, apoptosis, and changes in biomarker expression. 

Resveratrol inhibits cancer growth. This 2004 UCLA review published in “Anti-Cancer Research” concluded that: “Besides cardioprotective effects, Resveratrol exhibits anticancer properties, as suggested by its ability to suppress proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells, including lymphoid and myeloid cancers; multiple myeloma; cancers of the breast,
prostate, stomach, colon, pancreas, and thyroid; melanoma; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; ovarian carcinoma; and cervical carcinoma. 

Cardio-protective properties of Resveratrol. A team at Taiwan National University College of Medicine concluded that “Resveratrol is a potent antiarrhythmic agent with cardioprotective properties” in a study where rats were treated preventively with Resveratrol prior to occluding the coronary artery. 

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