Drs. Langcake and Pryce reported the presence of resveratrol and its derivatives in grapevine tissues in 1976. It was discovered at that time that plants produced resveratrol when they were under attack by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. This led to the conclusion that resveratrol was a natural protectant to plants under times of stress, and also led to the beginning of studies to examine whether resveratrol could be beneficial to humans.
Although resveratrol is not an essential nutrient - that being that life can be sustained without it, it is however interesting to note that resveratrol can have a host of beneficial effects on the body, and the surface is only now been scratched with what resveratrol could offer us in health benefits.
There are no clinical signs of deficiency, as it is not an essential nutrient.
No recommended daily allowance has been established for this compound.
Although there are literally thousands of companies that sell a 10% purity resveratrol - and then at a dosage of 10 - 20 mg - the quantity is too small to make any significant contribution to the body's health on its own.
To date, no side effects, toxic symptoms, or drug interactions have been reported in connection with resveratrol consumption. We do however recommend that people under 18 years of age do not take resveratrol supplements.
In our modern day life, we all seem to be able to benefit from this nutrient - especially if you are subjected to a lot of stress, or environmental stressors and pollutants. People with certain medical conditions - be that elevated or raised blood cholesterol levels or even more serious problems like breast and prostate cancer could benefit from adding this to their diet.
It is also a great way to keep aging at bay, as it helps in various manners to create a far healthier body - working at cellular level, where it all begins.
The chemical structure of resveratrol is important because from its structure chemists can determine some properties related to its benefit. The hexagons in the structure of the molecules are called aromatic rings, and the OH groups are called hydroxyl groups. When aromatic rings and hydroxyl groups are together the chemical is called a phenol.
Polyphenols are often associated with compounds that are antioxidants. This is because they can react with free radicals to form a more stable molecule; one that is less toxic than the original radical.
In vitro and in vivo animal and human studies have shown that resveratrol possesses many biological attributes. These factors favor cardiovascular protection, neuroprotection, antioxidative and immunomodulatory activities, modulation of hepatic lipid synthesis, inhibition of platelet aggregation, vaso-relaxing effects, and inhibition of pro-atherogenic eicosanoids by human platelets and neutrophils.
Resveratrol has been shown to act as an anti-mutagen by inhibiting the cellular events associated with tumor initiation, promotion, and progression. It also acts as a phytoestrogen and can serve as a natural replacement for estrogen during menopause.
It has also been shown in studies to decrease tumor growth in vivo. A recent study indicates that resveratrol directly stimulates cell proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and increases bone formation.
Plant antibiotics such as resveratrol are known as phytoalexins. These compounds are the members of the plant kingdom classified as spermatophytes.
Resveratrol is found in a variety of fruit and vegetable plants and they are classified as spermatophytes and are known to contain natural stilbenes and stilbene glycosides.
Resveratrol is most known as an ingredient found in the skin of dark grapes, but the weed Polygonum cuspidaturn is also a very good source of resveratrol. A root extract of Polygonum has been used for a long time in Asian countries to treat headaches, amenorrhea, dysentery, dermatitis, gonorrhea, infections, inflammatory and allergic responses, asthma, arthritis, hepatitis, trauma, hyperlipidemia and arteriosclerosis, hypertension, as well as cancer.
The root extracts of Polygonum cuspidaturn, known as Hu-Chang and Ko-jo-kon, have been credited with many phyto-therapeutic successes in Japanese and Chinese folk medicine. (Clinical trials using 136 patients showed 83 of 94 cases of hypercholesterolemia lowering their cholesterol level.)
The interest today in resveratrol comes from the reports of what was achieved in Japanese herbal folk medications. This covered areas ranging from the treatment of inflammation as well as lipid atherosclerosis ailments and liver ailments such as Hepatitis B.
Other potential sources of resveratrol include Pterolobiurn, heartwoods of Cassia garrettiana, peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), the bark of Bauhinia racemosa and the leaves of Veratrum grandiflorum and the roots and rhizomes of Veratrum formosanum. The latter been used for many years in the East as a folk drug for the treatment of hypertension.
Major emphasis was placed on the presence of resveratrol in vines or grapes because of its function as a phytoalexin and its unique ability to protect against fungal infection.
The potential production of trans-resveratrol in response to UV radiation varies with grape maturity, state of ripening, and season. The synthesis of resveratrol is stimulated in vines and in peanuts under the conditions of external stimuli such as infection, UV light (but not natural sunlight), traumatic damage, or treatment with anti-fungal agents, detergents, heavy metals or chemicals.
Resveratrol is classed as a polyphenol and polyphenols possess antioxidant, superoxide-scavenging, ischemic-preconditioning and angiogenic properties. Although "antioxidants" have become the buzzword around supplementation, it is important to understand the crucial need for this compound.
When our bodies work normally and when they are exposed to environmental stressors like pollution, stress etc. they actually form free radicals and although free radicals are totally normal to have, and excess of them will lead to premature aging and also is a factor in degenerative diseases.
Phytochemicals such as resveratrol (present in vegetables and fruits) are believed to reduce the risk of several major diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurodegenerative disorders.
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases or Friedreich ataxia are neurological diseases sharing, as a common denominator, production of abnormal proteins, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, which contribute to the pathogenesis of these so called "protein conformational diseases". And here our antioxidants can play a role in helping with these dreadful neurological diseases and the use of dietary antioxidants like resveratrol - in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders can hold great promise.
The liver which removes wastes from our body can also benefit from resveratrol as it showed in clinical trials that oxidative stress is recognized as an important factor in the development of liver pathologies, and that resveratrol could be a useful drug for the protection of liver cells from oxidative stress induced damage and seeing that some people believe that optimum liver health is required to fight aging it is just as important to look after the health of the liver!
Various strange experiments with various organisms and small mammals have proven that resveratrol extend the lifespan of these organisms, and although a direct correlation could maybe not be draw between these organisms and small mammals and we humans it is interesting to note that this very potent ingredients resveratrol, with its exceptional antioxidant properties, can extend life.
When free radicals are formed it is sometimes referred to as "oxidative stress" and in clinical trials it reduced oxidative stress in cultured brain cells (PC12 cells) the stress induced by the addition of Fe2+ and t-butyl hydroperoxide - and increased the antioxidant protective effects of vitamins C and E under these same conditions.
Resveratrol also will protect against free radical injury in cerebral ischemia. Ischemia refers to the obstruction of blood and oxygen flow through an organ, while restoration of blood and oxygen flow is termed reperfusion, but reperfusion induces even more oxidative stress and damage to an organ than what the ischemia does.
In a clinical trial using an ischemia-reperfusion rat brain model, resveratrol glycoside decreased levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation (demonstrated by a reduction in malondialdehyde production) and increased the antioxidant activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, as well as glutathione peroxidase. A concentration of 10 milligrams per kilogram body weight seems to have the best effect.
Resveratrol also increased plasma and LDL polyphenols and enhanced antioxidant activity as judged by decreased plasma peroxides, and apart from this it also increased lag time and decreased LDL lipid peroxides and lipid peroxidation in the copper-catalyzed peroxidation of LDL conjugated dienes.
In an in vitro test - protykin, a natural extract of trans-resveratrol (derived from the dried rhizome of Polygonum cuspidatum) scavenged both hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals, while in an in vivo test it provided significant cardio-protection.
This was further supported by reduced myocardial (heart) infarct size, as measured by a computerized TTC staining method, and reduced malondialdehyde formation, a presumptive marker of oxidative stress.
The researchers showed that protykin demonstrated dramatic cardio-protection, presumably by virtue of its potent free radical scavenging ability.
Peroxidation of the LDL cholesterol from two healthy volunteers was inhibited by 81 percent and 70 percent upon the addition of 10 umol per liter of trans-resveratrol (2.5 mg per liter).
In contrast, 10 umol per liter of a-tocopherol (natural vitamin E), which has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, had much lower antioxidant potency than did resveratrol, and inhibited LDL cholesterol oxidation by only 40 percent and 19 percent.
Inhibition of monoamine oxidase was seen to be the prime cause responsible for the antioxidant activity of resveratrol. Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme found in most tissues, but especially in the liver and nervous system.
Monoamine oxidase catalyzes the oxidation of a large variety of monoamines, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
Resveratrol and its derivatives induced a significant inhibitory effect on malonaldehyde generation - a marker of lipid peroxidation and oxidative tissue injury - during thrombin-induced platelet aggregation.
It furthermore inhibited brain monoamine oxidase in rats, even though lacking the structural features of classic monoamine oxidase inhibitors and it is thought that inhibiting monoamine oxidase in the brain may be a way to help treat depression.
Vegetarians and Asians have a far lower incidence of breast, endometrial, ovarian, and prostate cancers, and they normally have far higher blood levels of phytoestrogens - which could be a major contributory fact to the very positive result it has in health.
Phytoestrogen has been demonstrated to have major health benefits for all people, but especially for women as it helps to address climacteric syndromes in women, including vasomotor symptoms and post-menopausal health risks, and also exhibit anti-carcinogenic properties.
Phytoestrogens also helps to inhibit angiogenesis, cell cycle progression, and aromatase enzyme inhibition. Apart from this, they also stimulate sex hormones-binding globulin synthesis, have antioxidant properties, and digitalis-like activity.
In females who consumed red wine, enzymatic metabolic reactions, with conversions in the gastrointestinal tract, can be observed. These reactions produce compounds with structures similar to those in estrogens.
It has been shown that women drinking two glasses of red wine per day have a reduction in hot flushes, depression, as well as osteoporosis. The level of two glasses of red wine - containing resveratrol - may be sufficient to reduce estrogen-binding, which may in turn provide some beneficial effects in other areas, such as breast cancer.
Phytoestrogens are known to bind and activate the estrogen receptor, but most phytoestrogens are less active than the endogenous estrogens.
Resveratrol exerts its dramatic anti-estrogenic activity by preventing more potent endogenous estrogen from binding to the estrogen receptor.
In clinical trial, postmenopausal women received trans-resveratrol for six months had increased bone mineral content and density. It is important to mention that menopause is not simply a condition of estrogen deficiency, but that it is a different estrogenic state altogether. After menopause, estrogen becomes estrone as a result of reduced estradiol secretion by the ovaries.
Following menopause, diethylstilbestrol (4,1'-dihydroxy-trans-a,B-diethylstilbene) and ethynylestradiol - synthetic hormones - are extensively used as hormone replacement therapy - and it is with interest that we can note that resveratrol has a similar effect and benefits to that of the diethylstilbestrol and estradiol.
Transresveratrol can stimulate low concentrations of estrogen secretion in the body, inhibits the binding of labeled estradiol to the estrogen receptor, and activates transcription of estrogen-responsive reporter genes that are transferred into human breast cancer cells.
Drs. Lu and Serrero of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have shown that resveratrol inhibits the growth of estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells. They showed that resveratrol antagonizes the breast cancer cell growth-stimulatory effect of estradiol in a dose-dependent fashion, both at the cellular level (cell-growth) and at the molecular level (gene activation).
In an in vitro study it was shown that resveratrol has a direct stimulating effect on bone formation in cultured osteoblastic cells, and can therefore be a helpful dietary supplement in prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity is the widely recognized as a biochemical marker for osteoblastic activity, and plays a role in bone mineralization, and resveratrol has been proven in a dose-dependently increase of ALP activity and DNA synthesis in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells.
Furthermore, resveratrol promoted prolyl hydroxylase activity, demonstrating that it increased collagen synthesis activity. Estrogens are essential for the development and function of female sex organs, as well as maintenance of bone strength, cardiovascular health, and brain function. With advancing age, women produce less estrogen and experience mid-life changes.
A broad spectrum of evidence suggests that phytoestrogen supplementation - such as resveratrol - offers a potential alternative or complement to conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Conventional Hormone Replacement drugs, especially diethylstilbestrol, have been shown to cause serious side effects - which includes strokes, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer.
Studies have shown that trans-resveratrol enhances estrogen metabolism through the formation of a complex with estrogen receptors and can help women maintain normal estrogenic activity, reduce hot flushes, balance mood swings, maintain healthy bone density, promote cardiovascular health, and prevent the effects of premature ageing.
Resveratrol has been demonstrated to help inhibit the initiation, promotion, and progression stages of cancerous growths and tumors.
Although we make the statement that resveratrol can assist in some medical problems.
Currently, numerous preclinical findings suggest resveratrol as a promising compound for cancer prevention and treatment.
A chemopreventive agent (preventing cancer) can operate via different mechanisms, such as the inhibition of the metabolic activation of carcinogenic compounds, the stimulation of reactive metabolite detoxification, the prevention of their interaction with cell DNA and the suppression of tumor progression.
Resveratrol is able to act on each of these mechanisms and it can simultaneously inhibit promutagen bioactivation, stimulate carcinogen detoxification and prevent the organism against the adverse effects of diverse environmental toxicants.
Resveratrol may also possess a chemotherapeutic potential that is to help treat cancer. It suppresses growth of various cancer cell lines, partly by an inhibition of DNA polymerase and ribonucleotide reductase and partly by inducing cell cycle arrest or apoptosis (killing of cells when necessary). Intraperitoneal injections also decrease the number of tumor cells in a Yoshida AH-130 ascite hepatoma rat model.
Dr. Jang and his collaborators published cutting-edge research results in Science in January 1977, considered the top-rated peer-reviewed journal. Their work showed that resveratrol functions as a potent anti-mutagen. Its beneficial effects included the induction of Phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes (anti-initiation activity), inhibition of cyclooxygenase and hydroperoxidase functions (anti-promotion activity), and the induction of human promyelocytic-leukemic cell differentiation (anti-progression activity).
Resveratrol inhibited cancer initiation by reducing in vitro free radical formation when human leukemia cells were treated with TPA effective dose, inhibiting the mutagenic response when Salmonella typhimurium cells were treated with a noxious polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon DMBA, and inducing quinone reductase activity in cultured mouse hepatoma cells.
Resveratrol also inhibited cancer promotion in mice by inhibiting cyclooxygenase activity of COX-1 and hydroperoxidase activity of COX-1 and COX-2 and reducing pedal edema both in the acute (3 to 7 hours) and chronic (24 to 144 hours) phases. Cyclooxygenase activity inhibition is relevant to cancer chemoprevention because it catalyzes the conversion of arachidonic acid to pro-inflammatory substances, which can stimulate tumor cell growth and suppress immune surveillance. Cyclooxygenase can also activate carcinogens to forms that damage cellular material.
Considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that COX-2 is important in tumorigenesis and that targeted inhibition of CQX-2 may be an innovative approach to preventing cancer and treating inflammation.
Treatment of human mammary epithelial cells with phorbol ester (PMA)- mediated induction of COX-2 induces a marked increase in production of prostaglandin E2. The enhanced synthesis of prostaglandins can favor the growth of malignant cells by increasing cell proliferation.
Resveratrol suppresses PMA-mediated increases in COX-2 mRNA and protein. Additionally, nuclear runoffs revealed increased rates of COX-2 transcription after treatment with PMA, an effect that also was inhibited by resveratrol. In this way, resveratrol can serve as a potential natural product to prevent cancer by targeted inhibition of COX-2.8
Resveratrol also delayed the onset of cancer progression by inducing expression of nitroblue tetrazolium reduction activity, a marker of granulocyte formation, and nonspecific acid esterase activity, a marker of macrophage formation; and inhibiting incorporation of [3H] thymidine, a marker of terminal differentiation to a non-proliferative phenotype.
Resveratrol was also found to possess chemopreventive activity by inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase and cyclooxygenase-28 and by inhibiting cellular events associated with cell proliferation and tumor initiation, promotion, and progression.
Ribonucleotide reductase is a protein enzyme complex that catalyzes the reduction of ribonucleotide into the deoxyribonucleotides required for DNA synthesis. Basically, this enzyme provides proliferating cells with the deoxynucleotides required for DNA synthesis. By inhibiting this enzyme, resveratrol exhibits antiproliferating activity and so inhibits cancer cell proliferation and differentiation.
A very significant decrease (25 percent) in the tumor cell content resulted when rats inoculated with a fast-growing tumor (the Yoshida AH-130 ascites hepatoma) were given resveratrol in vivo. The researchers were able to show that resveratrol caused apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the tumor cell population, which resulted in a decreased cell number of cancer cells.
Resveratrol was also found to induce apoptotic (programmed) cell death in human leukemic HL-60 cells and in T47D breast carcinoma cells at doses minimally toxic to normal peripheral blood lymphocytes. Resveratrol-induced apoptosis is mediated via caspase activation inhibitable by tetrapeptide caspase inhibitors.
Furthermore, resveratrol enhances CD95L expression and induces CD95, signaling dependent cell death in both tumor cell lines. The chemopreventive activity of resveratrol could be explained by the induction of CD95-dependent apoptotic cell death in tumor cells, leading to the inhibition of tumor initiation and progression.
Dr. Ragione and his colleagues investigated the activity of resveratrol on proliferation and differentiation of the human promyelocitic HL-60 cells. A low concentration causes a complete arrest of proliferation and a rapid induction of differentiation towards a myelo-monocytic phenotype. Resveratrol induces a complete and reversible cell cycle arrest at the S-phase checkpoint. These studies demonstrated that resveratrol is a potential candidate for the development of anti-cancer treatment as well as for inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation during immunosuppressive therapies.
From the above you will see that a variety of trials have been done on cancer as such, but a large volume of research has also been undertaken on how resveratrol influence cancer cells in the human breast cells, and although it cannot be claimed yet that resveratrol arrests the development of breast cancer, or is an effective treatment for breast cancer all the research points to very interesting and positive effects that may still need further investigation.
It can however be safely assumed that resveratrol is a supplement of choice when battling with this disease.
One of the cancers that men fear most must be prostate cancer, as it can have such a direct influence on their sexual functioning. It must however be kept in mind that if prostate cancer is detected and treated early, the prognosis is excellent.
A variety of trials and research have also been done on the positive effect that resveratrol has on prostate cancer and although more studies may be needed to conclusively show that there is a place for resveratrol in the treatment of prostate cancer, it can be fairly taken that resveratrol can be most beneficial when fighting prostate cancer.
Cholesterol is a fat-soluble molecule transported in the blood and although the body can manufacture cholesterol in the liver, it can also be obtained in the diet.
Although the body requires cholesterol to function naturally such as in the production of hormones, absorption of vitamin D, formation of cell membranes and other body functions, it can however become a problem if the body has too much of a certain cholesterol.
Cholesterol is present in two forms LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein) It is the LDL which is the "bad cholesterol" which can lead to many health problems, while the "good" HDL helps to keep the bad LDL under control.
The reason why LDL is bad, is that it oxidizes and forms plague (a build-up) on your blood vessels which leads to the narrowing of the blood vessels, and which will lead to heart disease, stroke and blood circulatory problems.
One culprit of high LDL blood counts can be contributed to the intake of saturated fats in the diet such as animal fat and trans fats. It is also present in eggs as well as full fat dairy products (especially milk and cheese) and palm as well as coconut oil.
Trans fats are actually unsaturated fats (which are fine), but due to its chemical structure have the same effect as saturated fat and can be found in hydrogenated (a chemical reaction where hydrogen is added to a compound) and partly hydrogenated vegetable fats and is therefore often found pies, biscuits and other processed foods.
When combating high blood cholesterol levels it would therefore be wise to limit your intake of animal fat and rather look at consuming polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats such as margarine spreads and oils such as soybean or safflower and to make the bulk of your diet consist of vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, nuts, fish and lean meats, while opting for low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt.
You should however not cut out all dairy products as you do need the calcium but rather opt for the low-fat options.
There is even a bigger range of lipoproteins found within blood - chylomicrons, very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) but for all intents and purposes we normally only look at the LDL and HDL profile found in the blood to determine our health status.
Abnormally high cholesterol levels also called hypercholesterolemia which really refers to high concentrations of LDL and low concentrations of HDL are closely related to strongly associated with cardiovascular disease which does not only affect the blood vessel system, but can also impact on the lymphatic system.
This plaque is made up of oxidized LDL particles and it is interesting to see that a plant derived compound resveratrol (also found in red wine and the skin of red grapes) has been shown to reduce oxidized LDL and by natural conclusion, will help to lower cholesterol levels.
As mentioned above, clinical studies have shown that resveratrol helps to reduce the oxidation of LDL - but other studies showed that it also lowered the actual level of LDL in the blood.
High levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream have been linked to atherosclerosis therefore an increase of the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is therefore ideal if you can reduce the triglycerides in the blood which is effectively done naturally, once again with resveratrol.
So although platelet aggregation has no direct bearing on cholesterol, we have included it on this page, since it does influence proper blood flow.
Another plus point of resveratrol is that it helps to decrease platelet aggregation of the blood in simple terms it helps to make the blood less sticky and is therefore beneficial to help prevent heart problems and thrombosis. A lot of doctors prescribe to their patients to take aspirin every day, as aspirin also helps with decreasing platelet aggregation.
This includes a variety of problems with the heart and blood circulatory system from heart attacks to cerebrovascular disease (problem in supplying the brain with blood), high or raised blood pressure (hypertension), peripheral artery disease (problems with the blood vessels supplying the arms and legs), rheumatic heart disease (damage to the heart muscle caused by rheumatic fever), congenital heart disease (inherited problems with the heart structure), heart failure and deep vein thrombosis which can cause a clot in the leg to dislodge and move to the lungs or heart causing a pulmonary embolism.
The main sources of cardiovascular disease are smoking, being inactive and an unhealthy diet. In 2005 nearly a third of all deaths - an estimated 17,5 million people -died of cardiovascular disease and was made up of 7.6 million dying of heart attacks and an estimated 5.7 million due to stroke.
The most common cause of these blockages is caused by a build-up of LDL cholesterol also referred to as plague. These are formed by deposits of the LDL cholesterol from the blood onto the inner wall of the blood vessels making the blood vessels narrower and less flexible called atherosclerosis - or hardening of the arteries. The arteries are then far more susceptible to becoming clogged by blood clots, thereby totally cutting off the supply of blood.
It would be wise to give up smoking and to avoid second-hand smoke, following a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fats, excessive sugar and salt, and maintaining a healthy body weight while doing some physical exercises for at least 30 minutes per week.
If you are suffering from elevated LDL cholesterol levels then medication would be used to lower the cholesterol blood serum level and if you have elevated blood pressure medication to control and lower the blood pressure may be required. Taking aspirin daily can also help with keeping the blood less "sticky".
Other surgery that can be used will include coronary artery bypass surgery, balloon angioplasty (where a tiny balloon device is moved through a blocked artery to open the blockage), heart valve repair or replacement as well as human heart transplantation or artificial hearts depending what is required.
To prevent any of these above mentioned surgical interventions a lifestyle change may be necessary and some dietary supplementation could also be of some use.
Many flavonoids show vasorelaxing properties, and this has been associated with a lower incidence of heart disease although this works in a rather intricate manner. With this in mind it is interesting to note that resveratrol mostly known as the compound extracted from the skin of red grapes have some rather good vasorelaxing properties apart from all the other health benefits.
After a heart attack or stroke, when the blood flow returns to the area that was starved of blood, injury can follow and this is referred to as "reperfusion injury". The tissue is damaged when the blood supply returns, as the restoration of circulation results in inflammation and oxidative damage through oxidative stress.
This is due to the inflammatory response of the damaged tissues where white blood cells are carried to the area by the restored circulation and many inflammatory factors is released - such as interleukins as well as free radicals. The restored blood flow also restores the supply of oxygen which damages cellular proteins, DNA, as well as the plasma membrane. This also plays a part in stroke and brain trauma.
Here again, resveratrol has a role to play and can assist in minimizing damage. Protykin, a natural extract of trans-resveratrol derived from the dried rhizome of Polygonum cuspidatum, demonstrated excellent in vitro peroxyl radical [generated by 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride] and hydroxyl radical (in a 7-OH -coumarin-3-carboxylic acid model) scavenging abilities; and provided significant cardio protection in vivo. Myocardial (heart attack) protection of protykin was assessed in vivo to determine whether protykin could preserve the heart during ischemic arrest.
In an in vivo ischemia-reperfusion model, three weeks of protykin supplementation to rats significantly improved postischemic left ventricular functions [dp, dp / dtmaxl and aortic flow. It also reduced myocardial infarction (determined by TIC staining) and reduced malondialdehyde formation (a presumptive marker of oxidative stress) in the coronary effluent. Thus the researchers demonstrated that protykin offers dramatic cardio protection, presumably by virtue of its potent free radical scavenging ability.
Platelet aggregation (the stickiness of the blood platelets) plays an important role in arterial thrombosis as well as heart disease, stroke as well as arterial disease.
Another plus point of resveratrol is that it helps to decrease platelet aggregation of the blood in simple terms it helps to make the blood less sticky and is therefore beneficial to help prevent heart problems and thrombosis. A lot of doctors prescribe to their patients to take aspirin every day, as aspirin also helps with decreasing platelet aggregation.
It is therefore helpful if a compound helps to mediate the action of protein tyrosine kinase, and with this, resveratrol has also proven to be most helpful.
Aging is associated with an overall loss of function of the whole organism, which starts at cellular deterioration. All the components in the cell require continuous recycling and regeneration throughout the lifespan of the cell and should damage occur especially in the mitochondria of the cell which is very susceptible to damage it will result in aging and degeneration.
The mitochondria in the cell are most susceptible to damage as they are the major bioenergetic machinery and source of oxidative stress in cells. In aging and in diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's the loss of cells in the vital organs may be related to several factors and one of the primary factors would be the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by the mitochondria in the cell which leads to DNA damage and cell death and by extension leads to aging.
It is therefore imperative to look at effectively controlling the mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover and for the maintenance of energy production in the cell and preventing oxidative stress of the mitochondria which will in turn promote healthy aging.
Resveratrol therefore helps to mimic dietary restriction (DR) which helps to delay age-related diseases (as shown in laboratory animals) and in a study on aged mice, a marked reduction of the signs of aging were apparent including reduced albuminuria (indicator of damage to the kidneys or presence of diabetes type 1), decreased inflammation, increased vein elasticity, better motor coordination, a reduction in cataract formation, and preserving bone mineral density.
The compound - t-RESV found in resveratrol displays a number of biological activities, including anti inflammatory, antioxidant, platelet anti-aggregatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well the modulation of lipoprotein metabolism and all of this can have an impact on lifespan extension.
It has been shown that t-RESV is a potent activator of sirtuin enzymatic activity, which mimics the beneficial effects of caloric restriction (CR) diet, which has been shown to retard the aging process and increases longevity.
Resveratrol is a phytoalexin which has been reported to slow aging by acting as a sirtuin activator, and also have a wide variety of pharmacological effects on adipocytes (fat cells), and may help to alter fat mass by directly affecting cell viability and adipogenesis in maturing preadipocytes.
The sirtuin genes function as an anti-aging gene in yeast, and the NAD requirement for sirtuin function indicates a link between aging and metabolism, and a boost of the sirtuin activity may in part explain how calorie restriction extends life span. In some test resveratrol showed great promise to help with this, and the acknowledged SIRT1 activator - resveratrol - has been shown to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis and deliver health benefits in treated mice, and it is this mitochondrial biogenesis that may have beneficial effects on aging and also perhaps prevent the diseases normally associated in aging. SIRT1-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis may also reduce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which has a strong link to aging.
UV radiation and H(2)O(2) are two major inducers of skin cell damage but resveratrol has been shown to down-regulate SIRT1 in a time and dose dependent manner, and act as an effective antioxidant protecting against both UV- and H(2)O(2) induced cell death making resveratrol a powerful compound to use in the fight against skin aging.
In a study where cigarette smoke-induced vascular oxidative stress and inflammation was used to measure the effectiveness of resveratrol, it was shown that resveratrol can also help protect against cell death caused by cigarette smoking.
Collagen is a protein and is found in all body parts, including the largest organ of the body - the skin and collagen is made up of three strands of repeating amino acids coils coiling into the unique collagen triple helix.
With the onslaught of normal aging, the collagen in our skin is under attack and various factors hasten the degradation of collagen. Sun tanning and sun exposure is one of the main culprits of collagen deterioration in our skin and inflammation also destroys collagen.
Large amounts of free radicals which are formed during normal body functions (oxidation), can also destroy collagen and here a person can specifically look at pollution and toxins in your environment, fat filled diet as well as cigarette smoking and consuming alcohol.
Although a Finnish study could not detect morphological changes in the skin of smokers, they did find that type I and III collagen synthesis is decreased and the regulation of ECM turnover is altered in smokers, which may lead to deterioration of the tensile strength and resiliency of skin in the long term.