Resveratrol

Background

Resveratrol, also known as red wine extract or 3, 5, 4′-trihydroxystilbene, is a polyphenolic bioflavonoid antioxidant produced by certain plants and found in foods as well as drinks that are known to slow down the aging. This polyphenolic compound is referred to as a ‘stilbene’ due to its structure, and it is the most common and well researched stilbene currently known. Resveratrol supplement acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol has the ability to interact with estrogen receptors in a positive way, and hence, this supplement is classified as a phytoestrogen. The supplement can also enhance the health of your brain and promote a longer lifespan.[1] Some of the users also report that Resveratrol may increase focus, concentration and mental clarity while taking it alone or in a nootropic stack.

Benefits

Resveratrol (trans-3,5,40-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a polyphenol found in the skins of grapes, berries, and peanuts, and has been reported to reduce inflammation, oxidation, and lower one’s risk for cancer. Studies prove that Resveratrol possesses beneficial effects on various biological processes, including the reduction of risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases through in vitro and in vivo studies. The antioxidant activity of Resveratrol contributes to its health benefits. It has been reported to display a protective effect against ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity. The most well-known benefit of Resveratrol is that it can extend the lifespan of certain cells.[2]
Studies also prove that Resveratrol is the most potent activator of the protein deacetylase SIRT1 and it enhances the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet and increases their survival. Resveratrol induced changes associated with a longer lifespan, including increased insulin sensitivity, increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) activity, increased mitochondrial number and improved motor function, and increased survival. Resveratrol is suggested to increase mitochondrial function via an SIRT1-dependent or -independent pathway.[2]
The common health benefits of Resveratrol include:

  • Improves cognitive performance [3]
  • Has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects [4]
  • Protects cardiovascular health [5]
  • Has an effect on people who have Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurological diseases [6]
  • May improve weight loss [7]
  • Helps maintain blood sugar levels [8]
  • Helps manage blood pressure [9]
  • Lengthens lifespan [10]
  • Increases insulin sensitivity [11]
  • May reduce joint pain and inflammation [12]
  • Helps reduce the risk for cancer [13]
  • Improves learning and memory [14]
  • May balance male and/or female sex hormones [15][16]

Surely, Resveratrol does have unique antioxidant, heart- and brain-protective benefits. It may also expand blood vessels and reduce the activity of cells important in blood clotting. Reservatrol is a great supplement to improve cognitive function as well as promote longevity.

How it works

Resveratrol can act through multiple mechanisms, including binding and activation of estrogen receptors (ER), to increase nitric oxide bioavailability and thereby facilitate the endothelium-dependent vasodilatation necessary for adequate cerebral perfusion. Pre-clinical evidence indicates that resveratrol can improve memory, learning and cognitive reserve, as well as mood, in animals. It is thought that resveratrol can enhance cognitive performance and mood by optimising CVR in post-menopausal women.[17]
It is also hypothesized that Resveratrol elicits its benefits on cognition and also mood through its ability to modulate cerebral perfusion during times of demand. Indeed, allowing for normal aging processes, cognitive decline and, ultimately, dementia are linked to an accelerated decrease in cerebral perfusion and impairment of functional hyperemia within the cerebral cortex. With regard to mood, reductions in CBF during major depression mimic those observed in cognitive impairment, although more confined to the frontal regions of the brain. Resveratrol may be influencing CBF through established mechanisms, e.g., Sirtuin 1, AMP-activated protein kinase and Nuclear factor-like 2, to modulate endothelial nitric oxide production and, thereby, cerebral vasodilator function in order to influence mood and cognition. Moreover, resveratrol may also act on cerebral ER to activate endothelial nitric oxide synthase, resulting in increased perfusion in specific brain regions.[17]
Resveratrol may improve insulin resistance and help people manage their weight by increasing mitochondrial function through the activation of AMPK, SIRT1, or PGC-1α.

Considerations

Resveratrol is likely to be a fairly safe supplement which is very well-tolerated in humans. No serious adverse effects have been reported so far while taking Resveratrol. However, a bit of mild stomach upset and nausea have been reported when taken at a high dosage (up to 5 grams which is not recommended).
Although, during pregnancy and breast-feeding, the source of resveratrol is important, wine should not be used as a source of resveratrol during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
As Resveratrol may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery, stop using resveratrol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
It is always wise to start any supplement after consulting a physician.

Recommendations

An appropriate range of doses of Resveratrol depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. In fact, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for this supplement.
Some studies and experiments show that the unhealthy people who are looking to improve their overall cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, and longevity, can start with as little as 10 mg per day. The healthy adults can take a dose for Resveratrol between 100 and 500 mg a day. Keep in mind that as with anything new, always begin with the lowest effective dose and only increase when your body becomes familiar with its effects. However, your physician or healthcare provider can determine an appropriate dose for you.

Sources