The ingredient 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.
on this page
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.
The antioxidants stop the damage that this un-paired free radical molecule can do – and the end result is a far healthier and younger functioning body, plus can aid in extending the lifespan.
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 trails 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.
Supplementation of protykin to rats for three weeks dramatically improved postischemic left ventricular functions and aortic flow as compared to control animals.
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.