Resveratrol and the Potential Benefits of Red Grapes and Wine
Resveratrol is one of the most useful polyphenols found in plants. It has the greatest concentrations in the skin of red grapes, while trace amounts of resveratrol are found in wine. Resveratrol is also found in other fruits and vegetables, though not as much as in grapes. Like other polyphenols, resveratrol has been shown to have an antioxidant effect. However, the potential benefits of this complex plant chemicals are more extensive than that.
Resveratrol has been widely tested in lab studies and in living patients. In nearly all studies, very powerful and beneficial effects have been observed. We’ll do a quick explanation of the effects that these studies have identified.
We’ve covered free radicals plenty of times in this blog, but we’ll mention them again as free radical scavenging is one of the greatest potential benefits of resveratrol. Free radicals are unstable cells that enter the body from the environment or are created as a result of various actions inside of the body. These cells try to stabilize themselves, but end up finding healthy cells and destabilizing them, which contributes to temporary or chronic health issues. Antioxidants like resveratrol potentially catch these free radicals before they can get into a messy relationship with body cells unequipped to deal with their instability.
Cell Growth Patterns
Just as resveratrol has the potential for helping to control free radicals, it may also help to regulate the normal growth of new cells. Research suggests that resveratrol exerts a positive effect over what is going on inside and outside of cell walls, both in the early and late stages of cell growth.
So far, we’ve described how resveratrol acts as a regulator for unruly compounds and cells in the body. Wherever cells can go haywire, resveratrol, at its best, seems to make them act as they should. Heart cells are no exception. Resveratrol shows the potential to help regulate a healthy inflammatory response in different regions of the heart, helping to support a healthy heart and its many important functions.
There are studies and resveratrol proponents who have identified numerous other potential benefits of this plant chemical. However, deriving these benefits is not as simple as eating grapes, drinking wine, or taking Doctor’s Best resveratrol supplements.
This is because the bioavailability of resveratrol is very much in question. Some studies seem to indicate that resveratrol is well absorbed by the body, and well tolerated by study subjects. Other studies seem to indicate that resveratrol, as a polyphenol, is taken apart during digestion and altered into new forms in many different metabolites, many of which have probably not been identified yet.
From our perspective, it seems that the best studies indicate that resveratrol is at least partially bioavailable, because resveratrol has been found in the blood plasma of study subjects. Therefore, it seems like a supplement worth taking. Red grapes also seem to be a great source for it, so there can be no harm in making grapes a regular part of your diet.
As resveratrol is found only in limited quantities in red wine, we wouldn’t recommend drinking wine for any potential health benefits. The ethanol present in wine will likely do as much harm as any beneficial components do good.
There is much study ongoing about the effects of resveratrol. It seems safe to take as a supplement right now, so do so if you wish. Keep an eye on this field of study for exciting news!