Resveratrol as Antioxidenat - Introduction
Resveratrol is a natural plant extract that belongs to the polyphenolic group of substances. Found widely in berry fruits, resveratrol is present especially in all red skinned grapes and all the families of mulberries, cranberries and peanuts. Resveratrol has been found to have physiological, biochemical, antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Resveratrol is found to have a wide range of health benefits in common age related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders.
Properties of Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a potent biochemical that belongs to the polyphenolic group and is commonly referred to as a polyphenol. Resveratrol possess many biological activities like antioxidant, anticancer, anti inflammation, anti aging and antimicrobial properties. Resveratrol has been noted to be effective in fighting diseases or conditions such as leukemia, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer.
Direct antioxidant activity
Several studies on antioxidant activity from resveratrol present in grapes have been performed till date. Resveratrol neutralizes the free oxidant and other oxidant present in the body quite actively. According to the studies, the highest antioxidant capacity was found in grape seeds, followed by skin. Therefore, the grape seed extracts are considered as potent antioxidants and are widely used in diet supplements. The various benefits of resveratrol are not only restricted to anti oxidant nature but more importantly to various other pathways that have an influence on the genes.
Health benefits of Resveratrol
Cardio protection action
Studies indicate that the polyphenol rich grape juice can reduce the risk of hyperlipidemia, a condition characterized by excessive lipid in blood. Hyperlipidemia is a well defined factor for atherosclerosis (thickening and loss of elasticity of walls of heart). Consumption of red wine rich in resveratrol results in increasing the levels of good cholesterol which in turn decreases the high risk of coronary heart diseases. It also helps in the reduction of the levels of certain proteins that have an inflammatory role in cardiovascular disorders.
Much evidence has concluded that resveratrol present in grape and its extracts have anticancer activity. Studies have found that skin extract of the grapes which contain high amounts of resveratrol induces prostate tumor cell death at high rates. The pomace extract after wine production express anti-proliferative effect on cancers of the breast, colon, ovary, cervix, stomach, pancreas and the lungs. These studies indicate that resveratrol present in red wine fights against carcinogenesis. Some of the studies have also indicated about the ability of reveratrol to protect our body from the dangers of radiation
Animal studies showed that phenolic compounds such as resveratrol present in grape seeds have significant anti- inflammation effects. Several studies performed on humans have also reported similar effects. Resveratrol has been noted to be beneficial in several different conditions such as ear inflammation, and abnormal fluid accumulation in tissues or body cavities (referred to as edema). The results of these studies have also highlighted the ability of polyphenols such as resveratrol in inhibiting the inflammatory changes in our body and decrease the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic disorders that are linked to obesity and high fat diets.
Researchers have concluded that polyphenolic compounds present in grape wine were able to inhibit several types of bacterial and fungal infections. Therefore, the regular use of resveratrol can help in protecting against different infections.
Health benefits of Resveratrol
Recent studies have concluded that resveratrol in red wine has different benefits apart from those listed before. These include:
- Reduce the risk of blood clotting
- Reduce bad cholesterol levels
- Prevent damage to blood vessels in heart
- Maintain a normal or healthy blood pressure
Resveratrol as Anti aging stimulant
Since decades, scientists have been looking for the possible benefits of resveratrol as an anti-aging supplement. Several studies have reported various benefits that can have a positive effect on the prevention of the aging process and its related complications.
Resveratrol has been noted to improve the function of female sexual hormones. Resveratrol also acts as an effective enhancer of the neuroendocrine system. Due to these properties resveratrol acts as an excellent remedy among menopausal women who tend to suffer from reduced hormone levels.
Aging is a complex process that requires the interaction of genes and tissues. In the same way several different genes prevent the aging process. It has been shown that genes that have been named as sirt1, sirt3, sirt4, fox01, fox03a and many others prevent age related disease. A separate genetic study showed that resveratrol activates the factor called Sirt1 in humans, which may slow the aging process by preventing cell damage.
It has been found that there is a close relationship between the process of aging and the neurological disease, particularly, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Resveratrol has been noted to prevent the neurological damage noted in aging individuals thereby protecting the aged from these neurological disorders. It is a suitable candidate for this purpose due to its low toxicity and antioxidant properties.
One of the processes that are associated with aging is oxidation damage of the healthy cells and tissues in the body. The administration of resveratrol has been demonstrated to initiate intracellular repair process by providing significant antioxidant protection to the cells. This is important because if our cells are intact they remain normal.
Resveratrol has also been reported to help in losing weight and prevent high blood pressure and inflammation.
Thus, the anti-aging benefits of resveratrol has been attributed to several different properties such as decreased cellular decomposition, reduced cell death rates, improved functioning of the cells and tissues and inhibition of the growth of abnormal cells.
Role of Resveratrol in other diseases
Several reports indicate that resveratrol not only prevents heart disease but also prevents other deadly diseases like leukemia. Resveratrol selectively targets the cancer cells, kills the damaged cells and prevents its spread to the surrounding parts of the body.
Past research have shown that resveratrol can battle obesity, by minimizing the effect of calories in the body. Also, resveratrol hinders fat storage and accumulation of factors that link to the development of obesity related diseases such as diabetes and clogging of coronary arteries.
In studies, evidence has shown that resveratrol could in fact trigger certain enzymes, helping to strengthen them, which can assist in warding off neurodegenerative disease.
It is also said that it has the property to improve elasticity and smoothness of the skin. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, resveratrol also has the effect of lowering blood sugar levels.
It is found useful for the treatment of disease like thrombosis, atherosclerosis, fatty liver disease, diabetes mellitus, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
Research studies have concluded that by consumption of resveratrol containing products, life span increases. Regular consumption of resveratrol has been noted to decrease the incidence of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
In conclusion, resveratrol present in berries have been proved to have potent anti-oxidant, anti –inflammatory and anti infective properties. Additionally, preventing properties in relation to cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and different types of cancer have emphasized the fact that resveratrol is required for the human body in moderate dosages.