The Benefits Of Resveratrol – A Follow-up Look At A Powerful Antioxidant
Today we are going to be taking a little break from wine reviews. Have no worries though as we will still be sticking with the topic of grapes. Today we will be discussing an Antioxidant that is found in the red grape skin although it is also found elsewhere, The Antioxidant that we will be discussing is named Resveratrol. This will actually also be an update of an article that I wrote on the Antioxidant back in December of 2016 (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-desert-wine-guy-whats-all-this.html). With all this increased talk today about the supposed health benefits of Resveratrol and how the wine industry has latched onto this supposed benefit and is trying it’s best to make it appear that because red grapes have Resveratrol as part of it’s DNA that red wine is now the healthiest drink on the planet, I thought this would be a great time to re-visit the topic.
So let’s go ahead and get right into this then. One thing I want to mention before I move on however is that I would like to point out that throughout this article I will try to stick to the issue at hand which is does Resveratrol and not wine provide any significant benefits to our health. I will try to stay away from the debate of whether wine is healthy or not however at times it cannot be helped and the two issues will in inter joined. You will also see in my closing paragraph that these are indeed two different topics. So, with that said, let’s get on with it. The first question we need to answer is what is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help the body fight against diseases such as Cancer and Heart Disease by protecting the body against what is known as “free radicals”which damage cells and allows disease to take root inside our bodies. Using antioxidants helps the body in neutralizing and removing these “free radicals”. As well as being an Antioxidant, Resveratrol is also what is called a Phytoalexin which is a class of natural antibiotic compounds produced as a part of a plant’s defense system against disease. On top of all that, Resveratrol is also a stilbenoid which is a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Putting it simply Resveratrol is a compound that helps destroy bad cells in our body and helps our body repair itself as well. Okay now that we know what it is, let’s find out where Resveratrol can be found.
While it is accurate that Resveratrol is found in higher concentration in the skin of the red grapes as well as red wine (with Merlot being the highest in concentration) according to Oregon State University you can also find it in Peanuts (very small amounts) as well as red berries, Dark (dark) Chocolate (the higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the higher the concentration of antioxidants it will have), Bilberries Cranberries & Blueberries just to name a few. So now that we know what Resveratrol is and where we can find it, lets learn about the latest research on it.
On 2003 Dr. David Sinclair discovered the anti-aging properties of Resveratrol. Since then the topic of Resveratrol has been big news with the wine industry as they use it to promote consumers drinking more red wine and the supplement industry which benefits that industry by selling Resveratrol. Here is some of the latest research that is available on the subject. A March 6, 2018 report by Medical News Today (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321126.php) reports that according to Dr. Shuai Cao of the Division of Biology at Kansas State University states that Resveratrol “has a good chance of inhibiting all poxviruses.” According to an April 2, 2018 article in the San Diego Tribune Dr. Philip Goscienski says (http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ramona-sentinel/news/local-news/sd-cm-ram-wine-and-chocolate-20180207-story.html) that among the health benefits attributed to Resveratrol are reducing inflammation, protecting DNA as an antioxidant, slowing down aging and protecting against cancer. According to an August 14, 2017 article in the Philly Voice (http://www.phillyvoice.com/component-red-wine-has-similar-anti-aging-effects-diet-and-exercise/) a study from The Journals of Gerontology is quoted as saying that the benefits of Resveratrol shares many of the same benefits as a drug prescribed to fight Type 2 diabetes called Metformin.
An article in Medical Daily (https://www.medicaldaily.com/drinking-red-wine-type-2-diabetes-resveratrol-benefits-heart-health-reducing-417066) which was written on May 8, 2017 The American Heart Association on May 4, 2017 posted a study (http://newsroom.heart.org/news/can-the-antioxidant-resveratrol-reduce-artery-stiffness-in-diabetics) where researchers found a 300 milligram (mg) per day dose of Resveratrol decreased aortic stiffness by 9 percent in type 2 diabetes patients. All is not well with Resveratrol however as a February 2018 article (https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/grape-expectations-is-red-wine-good-for-your-heart) posted by Harvard Health Publishing (Harvard Medical School shows. The article in part states “Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. All of the research showing that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have lower rates of heart disease is observational. Such studies can’t prove cause and effect, only associations.”
I will begin this closing paragraph with a study. Here is where I also must blend the two different subjects of wine health and the benefits of Resveratrol together. According to a March 5, 2015 article in Forbes Magazine (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/03/05/can-a-daily-glass-of-wine-help-prevent-cancer/#27f469e2227a) Daryl Davies PhD who is a professor in the department of Clinical Pharmacy and the Director of the MS program in management of drug development at the USC School of Pharmacy is quoted as saying the following “Antioxidants (Resveratrol) in wine are so low that it’s a joke,” In other words compared with the negative health effects of Alcohol, the amount of Resveratrol you would get in wine is not worth the risk.To me, this sums up the article. Yes, red wine has some health benefits such as Resveratrol BUT (and it is a big but) the fact that you are consuming Alcohol which is not good for you in so many ways the negatives of Alcohol far out way the small benefits. In all actuality since there are so many negatives to Alcohol in general you could say that there are not positives since they get eliminated in the end. I my opinion if you want to take Resveratrol (and I definitely do) then don’t use wine as an effective means of doing it. Eat your red grapes, Grape Juice, eat your Blueberries, Bilberries, cranberries, eat the Dark Chocolate (in moderate amounts) and REAL peanut Butter without High Fructose Corn Syrup. Here is another very interesting item to take note of. According to a study done by The US Library of Medicine National Institute of Health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13129286) “……after 18 min of heating at 190 degrees C, between 17 and 46% of the resveratrol had degraded in the various Vaccinium species.” Without getting into a discussion on the matter, raw foods are healthier than cooked or processed foods. Eating the fruits themselves also provides your body a great source of other antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K and manganese.
Before saying goodbye, I want to remind you that there are two different subjects that seem to at times be meshed together as one in the conversation over Resveratrol. The first discussion should be about the benefits (if any) of resveratrol and the second should be the health benefits (if any) of red wine. Perhaps this meshing of the two (2) topics shows the power of the Alcohol or wine industry I am not sure. As I stated already, Resveratrol is available in more places than red wine. One other interesting thing that I found while researching this wine is that it is almost impossible to find the amounts of resveratrol used in studies or the amount of Resveratrol that a glass (or a bottle) of red wine contains. Call me paranoid but I do not believe that is done by accident. There was only one (1) article (https://www.worldhealth.net/news/resveratrol-diabetes-arteries-stiffness-cardiovasc/) that I could find that actually posted amounts of Resveratrol used in a study. That article went on to conclude in part “….. a subgroup of 23 patients with particularly high arterial stiffness saw a 9% decrease with the 300 mg dose and a 4.8% decrease with the 100 mg dose.”. In my opinion Resveratrol has shown it’s benefits without question and I am a believer. I have started taking 300 MG of Resveratrol a day and perhaps you might want to as well.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a Doctor and am not giving anyone any medical advice with this article. I suggest if you wish to know if Resveratrol is safe for you that you go see your Doctor before taking it.