Resveratrol is a potent polyphenol found in the skin of red grapes, apples, peanuts, blueberries, and cocoa. Polyphenols refer to a large group of naturally occurring plant compounds that exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research focused on resveratrol has gained popularity over the years as it has shown promising results across a broad spectrum of health conditions.
Note: Like other polyphenols, resveratrol has poor bioavailability due to rapid enzyme degradation susceptibility. It’s important to note that trans-resveratrol is the most researched form of resveratrol because of its stability and greater biological activity.
Benefits of Resveratrol
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death around the world.
Since the 1980s, the epidemiological observation of the “French paradox” has linked resveratrol to heart health. This paradox proposed low to moderate consumption of red wine to be a possible reason why French people had lower rates of coronary heart disease compared to other Western countries, although their diets featured high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Lab studies indicate that resveratrol can contribute to reduced oxidative stress, decreased inflammation, reduced arterial stiffness, and improved endothelial function, along with reducing cardiac fibrosis.
Resveratrol has been touted as a longevity molecule, partially due to its robust antioxidant capabilities.
A 2023 article published in the journal Frontiers reported that resveratrol aids in regulating mitochondrial homeostasis and cellular energy metabolism.
Studies show that resveratrol supplementation activates AMPK, a master regulator of energy homeostasis that helps to drive autophagy (the removal or recycling of old, damaged cells).
Maintaining adequate immune health is essential as we age. A 2022 review from the journal Molecules noted that resveratrol “contributes to modulating innate and adaptive immunity, and stimulates the activation of macrophages, T cells, and natural killer cells.”
Although more human clinical trials are needed to comprehend the diverse biological abilities of resveratrol, current findings offer promising potential.
Researchers searching for substances that boost the human immune system say resveratrol “popped right out” during a new analysis of more 400 compounds.
Resveratol from red grapes had a significant impact on a gene involved in immune function. The only substance to perform as well was one from blueberries. Both compounds worked synergistically with vitamin D to raise the expression of the gene.
Resveratrol and the blueberry compound (pterostilbene) are stilbenoids, which plants produce in order to fight infections. Their bioavailability in humans remains a question, according to the researchers.