1. What is resveratrol?
An early resveratrol researcher was Dr David Sinclair, now a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. He and his colleagues discovered in 2003 that resveratrol could increase cell survival and slow ageing in yeast (and later in mice) by activating a longevity gene known as SIRT1.
Resveratrol is found in large amounts in red wine, it is a naturally occurring polyphenol, which is a type of nutrient-rich compound found in certain plant-based foods. Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties to help protect cells from damage by free radicals-potentially harmful molecules that can lead to oxidative stress, which is linked to ageing and a variety of diseases.
- Resveratrol prevents & treats cancer
This potent anti-inflammatory has been proposed to be an effective agent in the treatment of stomach cancer. Another study showed that grapeseed proanthocyanidins together with resveratrol can inhibit breast cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms. Both of these compounds are found in red wine; however, I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that you should drink red wine to prevent breast cancer. There is data that actually speaks to the contrary and suggests that even drinking one alcoholic beverage could increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer.
- Resveratrol Help manage glaucoma
Another exciting use of resveratrol has been proposed in the management of glaucoma. Resveratrol is thought to suppress inflammation in the retina and prevent cell death in nerve cells in the eye. To go even further, researchers in Spain suggested that resveratrol can improve resilience in the brain and protect against neurodegeneration.
- Resveratrol helps fight biofilms and infection
There’s a lot of talk about biofilms that are produced by microorganisms that can cause chronic infection. These bad microbes in biofilm communities tend to be more resistant to antibiotics and other treatments. This poses a greater health risk and makes treating what might have been a common infection more complicated. You might be pleased to know that resveratrol is also able to inhibit the formation of biofilms, and it can even destroy a biofilm that has already matured. So you can add antimicrobial effects to the list of positive health benefits this polyphenol has.
- Resveratrol promotes longevity
Resveratrol benefits cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, cataracts, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, and many of the other conditions reviewed above, one of the most interesting findings was that this polyphenol has anti-ageing benefits. It’s felt this is true because resveratrol can modify oxidative damage, inflammation, telomere length, and cell death.
3.Resveratrol side effects
So, is there any downside to resveratrol? Generally, resveratrol is well tolerated especially when taken in food form. When taken as a supplement, some people can get mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms and diarrhoea when they take high doses of it. Many experts also think that if you have hormone-sensitive cancer, resveratrol should be used with caution because it can have some estrogen-like properties and this could actually stimulate cancer cells to grow even more. This highlights an important point: Just because something seems perfectly healthy, that doesn’t mean it’s always perfect for everyone in every scenario.
When taking resveratrol: People often consume resveratrol in small amounts in foods. Resveratrol supplements are possibly safe when taken by mouth in doses up to 1500 mg daily for up to 3 months. Higher doses of up to 2000-3000 mg daily have been used safely for 2-6 months. But these higher doses are more likely to cause stomach upset.
When applied to the skin: Resveratrol is possibly safe when used for up to 30 days.
When sprayed into the nose: Resveratrol is possibly safe when used for up to 4 weeks.
4. Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Resveratrol powder is likely safe when used in amounts found in some foods. However, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the source of resveratrol is important. Resveratrol is found in grape skins, grape juice, wine, and other food sources. Wine should not be used as a source of resveratrol when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Children: People often consume resveratrol in small amounts in foods. But there isn’t enough reliable information to know if it is safe to take it by mouth in larger amounts. Resveratrol is possibly safe in children when sprayed on the nose for up to 2 months.
Bleeding disorders: Resveratrol might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Resveratrol might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use resveratrol.
Surgery: Resveratrol might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using resveratrol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
5. Can resveratrol interact with any medications?
Resveratrol can decrease platelet clumping, so if you’re taking an antiplatelet drug or blood thinner, you should definitely consult your doctor. It can also influence how certain drugs you might be taking are metabolized; this is important because certain drugs might be found in increased levels or decreased levels in your bloodstream as an effect of this, and it could influence how effective that medication may be for you. As with any other drug or supplement, it is important to make sure there are no specific interactions that could be pertinent to your health.
All in all, though, resveratrol is a superpower when it comes to plant-based compounds. There aren’t too many serious contraindications or severe side effects, and there is an enormous body of literature that suggests numerous health benefits. If you are nervous about taking a supplement, then it may be safer for you to include more of the foods that contain this substance in your diet. Without a doubt, food is one of the most powerful medicines we have access to, and resveratrol is a clear example of why this is true.
6. Which plant resveratrol is found in
Resveratrol is widely found in a variety of food plants, including Polygonum cuspidatum, grapes, berries, and peanuts, the content of Polygonum cuspidatum was the highest. Polygonum cuspidatum is a kind of Traditional Chinese medicine, it grows in the northwest, east, central, south and southwest China. Some Chinese herbal extract manufacturers use it to extract resveratrol. The extracted resveratrol can be used in food, medicine or cosmetics.
1. Wang C, Liu X, Zhang M, Shao H, Zhang M, Wang X, Wang Q, Bao Z, Fan X and Li H (2019) Efficient Enzyme-Assisted Extraction and Conversion of Polydatin to Resveratrol From Polygonum cuspidatumUsing Thermostable Cellulase and Immobilized -Glucosidase. Front. Microbiol.10:445. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00445
2. May 15, 2014, By: Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter