Resveratrol Scientific Studies
Resveratrol has been the subject of intense interest because of its antioxidant, cardioprotective, anti-aging, and anticancer properties. Following are some of the most significant studies:
Reduces cancer risk
Although Resveratrol is not toxic to healthy cells, it is able to selectively target and kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading. Resveratrol acts on the process of carcinogenesis by affecting the three phases: tumor initiation, promotion and progression phases, and suppresses the final steps of carcinogenesis, i.e. angiogenesis and metastasis.
Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes.
Studies have found that Resveratrol
- May be particularly beneficial as an adjunct cancer therapy in advanced prostate cancer
- Reduces skin tumors in mice when applied topically
- May be beneficial in the treatment of breast, colon, lung, esophagus, skin, lymph node, brain and testicular cancer as well as thyroid, melanoma, pancreas, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, ovarian and cervical carcinoma.
- Decreased induced mammary tumor incidence, number of tumors, and extended cancer latency in female Sprague-Dawley rats
- Can inhibit the growth of colorectal tumor cells
Resveratrol helps keep your heart and arteries healthy by
- Preventing cholesterol plaque from forming within artery walls regardless of whether circulating levels of cholesterol are high or low.
- Up-regulating nitric oxide and exerting antioxidant protection against cardiac ischemia.
- Stopping the proliferation of cells in blood vessels that narrow the arteries, and keeping blood cells from sticking together.
- Relaxing the endothelium that lines the arteries, allowing for efficient blood flow.
Inflammatory processes are inherent in many chronic diseases including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Resveratrol has been shown to reduce inflammation via inhibition of prostaglandin production and cyclooxygenase-2 activity -- COX-1 (a protein that acts as an enzyme to speed up the production of certain chemical messengers -- prostaglandins. The prostaglandins work within certain cells that are responsible for inflammation and other functions).
The anti-inflammatory effects of Resveratrol were first described in 1997 after a study on an animal model determined its primary activity to be the inhibition of COX-1.
Then a study led by some of the same researchers from CornellMedicalCollege in New York City revealed Resveratrol's COX-2 inhibitory effects. In this study, the researchers exposed human mammary and oral epithelial cells to phorbol esters, which induce COX-2 expression and the production of prostaglandin E2. The addition of pure Resveratrol inhibited both these effects, reversing the increases in COX-2 mRNA and protein. In addition to modifying gene expression, they also found Resveratrol to directly inhibit COX-2 activity.
A recent study showed that Resveratrol reduces the damaging effects of arthritis on cartilage tissue in animal models.
Another recent study showed that Resveratrol reduces homocysteine—an amino acid in the blood resulting from inflammation and leading to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Shows promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
Several recent studies suggest that Resveratrol works on some of the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. In laboratory mice, Resveratrol was found to protect neurons against amyloid toxicity,   a prime culprit in the disease, and also increases cognitive ability.
Is a mild anti-depressant
Now we know why drinking wine makes you feel good and -- at least temporarily -- helps you leave your troubles behind. Researchers at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain found that Resveratrol is a mild but "potentially useful molecule in the treatment of depression." Although they performed an in vitro study rather than a clinical study on humans, Resveratrol was compared to molecules used to make commonly used anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, and exhibited the same characteristics.
As a natural enzyme inhibitor Resveratrol inhibits both monoamine oxidase and 5-hydroxytryptamine, as many prescribed drugs do today, and the researchers concluded that if Resveratrol shows similar behavior in humans, “it may have interesting therapeutic potential for improving the pharmacological treatment of depression."
Recent studies indicate that in addition to Resveratrol, the polyphenols in red wine have many beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.
The French smoke, drink, and eat lots of cheese. Yet, despite a diet that's relatively high in fat, they boast a 42% lower incidence of cardiovascular disease than Americans do. Why? Because in addition to eating a diet that includes whole, high-fiber grains, they drink red wine. Red wine is chock full of antioxidant compounds and Resveratrol, which in turn lowers the risk of many diseases.
Three recent studies have shown that red wine has even more benefits than previously realized.
1) Red wine promotes nitric oxide production
One study showed that among the many proven benefits of red wine polyphenols is the inhibition of platelet aggregation and promotion of nitric oxide production, both important factors for promoting proper blood flow throughout the body. Additionally, red wine has been shown to significantly prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This effect was even evident in heart patients taking large doses of supplemental vitamin E, showing the unique antioxidant properties of red wine components.
The authors concluded that, "Based on the existing evidence of antiplatelet and antioxidant benefits and improved endothelial function from red wine and purple grape juice, it seems reasonable to suggest that moderate amounts of red wine or purple grape juice be included among the 5-7 daily servings of fruits and vegetables per day as recommended by the American Heart Association to help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease." Because red wine seems to have multiple beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and function, it seems prudent to include it in our diet.
2) Red wine consumption lowers homocysteine levels
The newest independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease is excess levels of homocysteine -- not cholesterol. Contrary to popular belief, elevated cholesterol alone does not cause heart disease. It is merely one of the many markers of the disease. In fact, it's quite possible to have a heart attack even if you have "normal" cholesterol levels.
But, according to research, there's a definite possibility you'll have a heart attack if you have high levels of homocysteine. What is it? Homocysteine is an amino acid derivative that's naturally found in your body. Too much of it can generate free radicals that increase injury to arterial walls, accelerate oxidation and the buildup of cholesterol in blood vessels, and set the stage for arterial and venous diseases, including stroke.
The good news is that scientists have discovered that red wine can dramatically lower homocysteine levels, even in obese individuals. These researchers concluded that, "Mild to moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine consumption, in obese subjects is associated with lower fasting homocysteine concentrations. This may reduce cardiovascular risk and help explain the “French Paradox.” With this new research, we can add lowering homocysteine levels to the myriad of positive effects red wine's components have on cardiovascular health.
3) Red wine polyphenols prevent the oxidation of dietary fats in the digestive tract
While most people are aware that oxidized fats are an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, most aren't aware that much of the oxidative stress occurs from the normal oxidation of dietary fats within the digestive tract. The subsequent absorption of these oxidation products greatly increases oxidative damage in the body and modifies LDL cholesterol to damaging forms.
Recent research has shown that wine polyphenols are very effective at preventing the rise of oxidized fat products after meals. Because much of our body's oxidative stress is a result of the absorption of these damaging fats after meals, red wine's unique ability to prevent fat oxidation during digestion is a novel means to lower the damaging effects of these oxidized fats on our cardiovascular system. As the author's concluded, "Apparently, wine procyanidins are active in preventing lipid oxidation of foods while in the digestive tract, thus preventing the postprandial plasma rise in oxidants. The likely limited bioavailability of these compounds, therefore, does not affect their relevance as key elements for optimizing nutrition and reducing risk of atherogenesis."
Dietary supplementation is a popular and inexpensive way to lower one's risk of heart disease
Don't worry, we're not asking you to drink two glasses or more of red wine every day over a leisurely four-hour lunch, as the French arguably do (although it doesn't sound like punishment!). Even if you don't drink red wine, you can gain the same benefits by drinking red grape juice or taking a nutritional supplement that contains red wine polyphenols. Because red grape juice is also very high in sugar and calories, red wine extract is the low-calorie choice to obtain the amazing and broad-spectrum benefits of the magical red grape.
The health benefits of wine without the calories and alcohol
While substantial evidence suggests that red wine offers numerous health benefits, the preferred method of obtaining the healthful phytochemicals in wine is a standardized red wine extract. This helps to avoid the calories and alcohol found in wine. Many epidemiological and laboratory studies have shown that the polyphenols found in red wine, including Resveratrol, have the potential to substantially enhance our health and longevity. By consuming a standardized extract of red wine that includes both polyphenols and Resveratrol, we are able to harness the health promoting properties of red wine in a safe, healthful, and easy to use supplement.
The following article was published on Nature.com on September 21, 2009 from the Asian Journal of Andrology:
Uptake of Resveratrol and role of Resveratrol-targeting protein, quinone reductase 2, in normally cultured human prostate cells.
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Nature.com, American Journals of Hypertension published the following article on November 26, 2009:
Resveratrol Prevents the Development of Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy and Contractile Dysfunction in the SHR without Lowering Blood Pressure
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Wall Street Journal published the following article on December 22, 2009:
“Toast to Your Health with a Supplement.”
‘Dr. Joseph C. Maroon, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who has written a book on resveratrol, agrees that more studies are needed but doesn't think it's unreasonable to take a moderate dose of resveratrol. "I don't see any significant downside," he says. Dr. Maroon says animal data suggest 50 to 1,000 milligrams a day is an effective dose; he takes 300 milligrams daily—which he says contains the amount of resveratrol in some 150 bottles of wine.’
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CNN Health, January 4, 2010:
‘Five 'eating better' foods to slip into your diet in '10
Tallmadge (Katherine Tallmadge, national spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a registered dietitian in Washington, D.C.) calls red wine the "almost the perfect drink." "But because it contains alcohol, you need to drink it in moderation -- about five ounces a day for women, 10 ounces a day for men," she says.
Nutritionists and physicians are careful about recommending alcoholic beverages, but agree red wine is good for you in small doses. Research suggests antioxidants in red wine, called polyphenols, help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. These antioxidants come in two main forms: flavonoids and nonflavonoids. Flavonoids are found in foods such as oranges, apples, onions, tea, cocoa and grape juice, as well as other alcoholic drinks like beer and white wine, but red wine contains the highest levels.
Resveratrol, a nonflavonoid antioxidant, is a key ingredient in red wine that appears to help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol and prevent blood clots.
Some research shows that resveratrol may reduce inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. More research is needed before it's known whether resveratrol causes these effects. If you choose to drink wine for your health, Tallmadge says stick to red, because research has shown red grapes have 10 times more health benefit than white grapes.
"It seems all the benefits, like resveratrol, are in the seeds and the skin," Tallmadge says, "So when they crush the red grapes, the benefits stay in the wine."
But Georgetown's Shields says that any alcohol, including wine, has also been found to increase the risk of breast cancer. "Some studies have shown an increase risk of 14 percent with each gram of wine you drink on a daily basis," he says.
And a recently published study found that drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol raises the risk of a breast cancer recurrence.
"It's really important that you moderate how much you drink, because the risk might outweigh the benefit," Shields says.’
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(Free-Press-Release.com)July 17, 2009
With the completion of an €800.000 R&D (Research & Development) project, nine wineries from La Rioja have managed to achieve the highest-ever Resveratrol content in any wine, achieving rates of 25.6 mg/l, 79% higher than the previous highest content recorded at 14.3 mg/l.
Logroño, July 17th, 2009 / Wines developed by nine wineries from La Rioja (Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco, Bodegas Viña Hermosa, Bodegas Juan Alcorta, Marqués de Murrieta, Bodegas Ontañón, Bodegas Patrocinio, Regalía de Ollauri and Bodegas Riojanas) working with Avanzare and Dolmar, leaders in innovation for the wine industry in La Rioja, have achieved a milestone in global viticulture and oenology in producing the highest-ever levels of Resveratrol produced naturally in a wine.
For the first time, through the development and implementation of natural techniques, both in the vineyard and production process, winemakers have dramatically increased the level of Resveratrol in a wine, reaching values never seen before at 25.6 mg/l. This level of polyphenol represents an increase of 79% over the previous highest level of 14.3 mg/l found in an Hungarian wine.
"The results, although provisional by the moment, open a very important work area for the viticulture and oenology. That must be the way forward for Rioja wines; offer a good product, with added value compared to the competition, away from low price policy and based on research, development and innovation ", explain winemakers involved in this project.
During 2008, the production of higher amounts of polyphenols in selected vinyards belonging to these nine wineries was enhanced by physico-chemical treatments, controls and in-depth analysis during the whole growing season in order to ripen the fruit. After the harvest in September 2008, the second phase of the project commenced with the pilot micro-vinifications of the wines.
It is anticipated that the first wines will be available for public consumption after the 2009 harvest.
For winemakers "healthy product policy is critical to the future, which means to keep away from terms such as "transgenic, mutation, genetically transformed ..." and clarify to consumers that our project is NATURAL".
"We have received interest and demand for our market in United States and England, where we believe that the wine from this project can have a good future", have declared some wineries.
This project is a serious attempt by these wineries to deepen the connection between wine and health, reinforcing naturally favourable effects for cardiovascular diseases or cancer, which have often been described in reports and scientific studies written by several international agencies and published by magazines such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Laboratoire de Nutrition et Sécurité Alimentaire.
The resulting higher level of trans-Resveratrol and quercitin in these wines will enhance (through moderate consumption) effects on health as, for instance, an antioxidant, as a reducer of bad LDL cholesterol values, as a protector against some kinds of cancer, an improver of blood sugar levels and blood flow, having anti-inflammatory properties.
For Julio Gómez, Avanzare CEO, and Mariano Fernández, Dolmar CEO, "the project has already yielded promising results, through the consumption and enjoyment of wine will be provided health benefits to our body". "We have broken a record in terms of concentration of Resveratrol and from now we must continue working to make the most of what we have achieved", they explain.
Avanzare and Dolmar, the leaders in innovation for the wine industry in Rioja, have been driving this technical and scientific project. Vinomio, an expert agency in innovation marketing and public relations for wine tourism, wine, and culinary, will be responsible for the public relations and brand development of the participating wineries during the marketing and distribution phase next year.