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Resveratrol: Natural Elixer

Resveratrol :  An incredible medical breakthrough?

Calorie restriction has proven effective in extending the healthy lifespan of rodents and primates.  Unfortunately, restricting caloric intake is often met with great antipathy.  While some animal studies over the past 20 years have demonstrated as much as 40% increase in life span the personal challenges of dietary restriction supersede the apparent benefits.  For this reason researchers believe a dietary discovery carrying the same benefits of extended life-span may be the silver bullet for those seeking to improve their health, but unwilling to restrict their diet. 

Now researchers believe they have come across such a discovery in resveratrol.  It appears to have the same affect as drastic calorie restriction, which has demonstrated increased life span in mice, rats, and monkeys.  Additionally it cuts the risk of age related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and blood sugar problems in monkeys.

Some researchers claim this substance, found in red wine, accounts for the low incidence of cardiovascular disorders among the relatively high fat consuming French.  Other researchers argue the resveratrol content in red wine is not sufficient to account for the high fat intake and low cardiovascular incidence paradox

A study published this year by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism placed 10 participants in a group receiving a resveratrol supplement (40mg) once a day for six weeks.  Another group of 10 received a placebo.  After analyzing the participants' blood, the researchers discovered that those who consumend the resveratrol showed lower inflammation levels.

The May edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, revealed scientists surprise at the ability of resveratrol to neutralize toxic arrangements of peptides while leaving the benign peptide arrangements unaltered; suggesting a role for resveratrol in preventing and possibly treating Alzheimer's.

Finally, researchers in France conducted a study by adding resveratrol to the diet of lemurs over a period of four-weeks.  Over that four week period the lemurs' lost body mass, their energy intake was cut by 13% and their resting metabolism was boosted 29%; suggesting resveratrol's possible role in weight loss. 

The benefits of such a substance are vast, and one would be foolish to avoid the assistance it would avail them.  The question then is "Where can I get this resveratrol?" .  Indeed, as with all medical breakthroughs, the hope is to develop a synthetic drug based on resveratrol that would act to prolong life.   Even for supplement companies the news of resveratrol must be exciting!  Imagine a substance that could prolong the health and life of a person to say 136 years.  Now that's powerful!  

As the resveratrol craze works its way onto store shelves it is crucial you understand natural sources.  There are two major sources for resveratrol in nature.  The red skin of grapes, and the herb hu zhang (polygonum cuspidatum).  Red skinned grapes are easy to find, but for hu zhang you should consult with a physician trained in the medicinal use of herbs.  Regular Consumption of the two will naturally raise your intake of resveratrol and diminish the need of over the counter or prescribed supplementation.  When deciding to purchase a product containing resveratrol it is best to make sure it is sourced directly from either of the two naturally occurring plants.