Resveratrol: Benefits, Usage, And Possible Risks
Everything You Need To Know About Resveratrol: Benefits, Usage, And Possible Risks
If you are a fan of drinking red wine, you probably have heard of or read about its acclaimed benefits, mainly dealing with better cardiovascular health and could even help prevent you from developing certain cancer cells. This is all due to the compound called resveratrol, and the hype surrounding it and its supposed medicinal properties have been strong ever since it began. Many studies have already claimed that it may help in a number of diseases--from memory loss to even cancer prevention--and there is never a shortage of new supplements and products with resveratrol as the main ingredient.
However, as much as there are many claims of its benefits, there are also doubts about its reliability and effectivity as a supplement and the possible risks of taking it. With all of these things in mind, is it worth taking resveratrol supplements? To better answer this question, we need to go and heaven in-depth look at this "miracle" supplement. What is it? How does it work? Is there any strong basis for its supposed benefits? What are the possible risks that you face when taking it?
Here are the things that you should know.
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol, by definition, is a compound produced by several plants whenever they are attacked or injured by bacteria and fungi and other forms of invaders and threats to them. Plants can also use it in order to survive through drought longer or ton overcome lack of nutrients. In a way, resveratrol functions in the same way as the human immune system, albeit different in the manner of protecting.
In fruits, resveratrol can be found in grapes, blueberries, cranberries, mulberries, lingonberries, and peanuts, among others. It is also a major compound that can be extracted from the roots of the Japanese knotweed, a type of "pest" plant that has posed a huge hassle for many farmers in the United States.
The earliest known medicinal use of resveratrol in humans can be traced back to 1992 when two Cornell University scientists specializing in plants proposed a theory that it may be resveratrol that gives red wine its supposed cardiovascular benefits. Since red wine is mostly extracted from grapes and other berries, the fruits' extract may be the one giving red wine its medicinal value.
That was the start of the hype for resveratrol. Red wine was then promoted by a lot of people as alternative medicine, and resveratrol was hailed to be a compound that can aid in the cure or prevention of a lot of cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and promote an overall longer life.
What are the benefits of using resveratrol?
Aside from supposed benefits against the terminal and chronic diseases, resveratrol has a few other benefits. Here are some of them.
Resveratrol supplements may help in lowering blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the type of blood pressure that will inevitably rise in value as people grow older. However, certain antioxidants are said to have properties that decrease the rate your blood pressure increases and may even lower it entirely.
A study conducted in 2015 concluded that high levels of the best resveratrol supplements may have a significant effect in reducing the pressure exerted by the blood flow on the heart's artery walls. This tells us that it is good for the blood and for the heart as well.
It works well with blood fats
Several studies conducted showed that resveratrol for better blood health might be a significant factor in making blood fats healthier.
In 2016, research conducted on a selected number of mice had them fed with a high-protein, high-polyunsaturated fat diet. Along with it, they were administered with resveratrol supplements.
The research showed that the mice's total cholesterol levels lowered, and their HDL levels, which is considered to be the "good cholesterol," had increased. Their LDL cholesterol levels, on the other hand (the "bad" one), dropped. This was thought to be due to the antioxidant effects of the supplement given to them.
It may help lengthen your lifespan.
One of the areas that had long been the focus of research when it comes to resveratrol is claiming that it can lengthen the lifespan of its user or protect them from an early natural death.
Research done by several experts suggested that resveratrol can help the body activate the gene sirtuins, which is a naturally-occurring protein in almost all living beings. This is known to help the body fight infections diseases and, delays the process of cells dying, thus delays aging.
Are there any risks or resveratrol side effects?
The thing about resveratrol is that unlike most supplements, it does not have any significant side effect reported, nor do people who have studied its effect on the human body seen any risk to its use and administration.
However, what you should understand is that although there are studied done on resveratrol, all results have only shown the possibility of it helping or giving the alleged benefit. Thus, the keyword often used is that it "MAY" help, not that it "WILL" help. This is what there are still medical experts who do not go against taking resveratrol pills, but they do not recommend it at all as well.
Another concern is whether resveratrol in the form of a pill or supplement works the same as the naturally extracted compound, direct from the source. There are studies yet to be conducted that will aim to look into this.
Before you go
Although resveratrol offers enticing health benefits, always remember that it still lacks strong pieces of evidence to back up its suggested and supposed medicinal value.
As a golden rule, it is always a good habit to consult your doctor or physician first before buying any supplements or nutritional products when it comes to supplements.