Reach for Resveratrol

Moderate consumption of red wine is reputed to fight heart disease and aging

Moderate consumption of red wine is reputed to fight heart disease and aging. But if you’d rather skip the sipping while still taking advantage of the healing power of grapes, reach for grape extracts instead.

Resveratrol is a powerful compound found in grape skins, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts, and some berries including blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries.

Scientists have become interested in resveratrol due to speculation that red wine’s protective effect might help explain the low rates of heart disease in France despite higher saturated fat intake and smoking.

Wine for health

Red wine contains other disease-fighting compounds called flavonoids that are also responsible for the vibrant colours of fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids, along with resveratrol, are reputed to give wine its health-promoting effects.

Moderate wine drinking is associated with improved cognitive function, increases in HDL (good) cholesterol, and reduced inflammation in the body. Research indicates that it may also be protective against lung cancer and that it prevents the conversion (oxidation) of fats in the body into toxic forms.

Supplement studies

In isolated form, resveratrol possesses a wide range of activities, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidation (cell damage) effects, as well as an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation (blood cell clumping).

In a recent study resveratrol was shown to decrease the clinical symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including weight loss, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.

An animal study found that supplementing with resveratrol diminished the plaque formation in the brain over the course of 45 days, suggesting that it may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. More animal research shows that it reduces cholesterol and protects against obesity and insulin resistance.

Full grape goodness

While resveratrol on its own is a popular supplement, to take advantage of the many beneficial components in grapes, consider a whole grape extract. A full-spectrum grape extract contains active ingredients including resveratrol (in its more active trans-resveratrol form), flavonoids, and other compounds.

Full-spectrum grape extract is well tolerated in humans and is absorbed rapidly, according to research in The Journal of Medicinal Food. In this study, supplementing increased the participants’ antioxidant capacities and, at the same time, lowered the oxidation of protein and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

“These outcomes can significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and coronary heart diseases,” the authors noted.

Harvest the healing antiaging power of grapes—without drinking a drop—with grape extracts.


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