Resveratrol: The Antioxidant Compound
In Red Wine That Provides Multiple Health Benefits
Author: Dr. Allen S. Josephs
How Does It Affect Health?
The health benefits of drinking red wine have been widely recognized for years. In fact, nearly ten years ago scientists suggested that red wine consumption may be responsible for the “French paradox”-or the notably low occurrence of cardiovascular complications among the French people, who eat a relatively high-fat diet.
Researchers believe that the resveratrol in red wine is responsible for its protective effects on human health. As an antioxidant polyphenol, resveratrol works to counter oxidative damage to human cells and tissues caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals, generated by normal body processes such as breathing and digestion and also from exposure to pollution, toxins and UV radiation, “attack” healthy cells, damaging important parts of their structure, including proteins, membranes and DNA.
Free radical damage to cells is associated with a variety of health complications, including cardiovascular and immune issues. It’s also believed to play a part in the aging process.
What Proof Is There That Resveratrol Works?
A recent landmark study from Harvard Medical School, published in the medical journal Nature, found that high doses of resveratrol allowed obese mice to eat a high fat diet and still live a long and healthy life’. Researchers discovered that the liver and other systems in obese mice remained healthy (when they should not have) and fat-related deaths dropped 31 percent for those mice given a resveratrol supplement.
Do I Have to Drink Red Wine to Obtain Resveratrol?
No. Resveratrol is now available in supplement form, so you can experience all of its health benefits-without the side effects of increased alcohol consumption.
1. Baur, J.; Pearson, K.; Price, N.; Jamieson, H.; Lerin, C.; Kalra, A.; et al. Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high calorie diet. Nature. Advance online publication, 1 November 2006.