A Harvard Medical School professor says "The red wine chemical resveratrol extends the life of every organism we give it to."
Dramatic human proof of this comes from reports of a 46% longer life span in Burgundy France. High levels of resveratrol are found in the grape skins of the Burgundy red grapes. Burgundy is a tough growing climate environment and grapes that survive here have especially high resveratrol content. The Monrovian purple grape appears to have 25 times more resveratrol than other grapes.
Here is a Reuter's news report coming from researchers at Brown University and the University of Connecticut: "What we have done is to find the molecules that potentially extend the life spans of people, not just their health spans".
Resveratrol is a buzz word in health science research. In the past 10 years over 500 medical research studies were performed. These studies consistently demonstrate that life expectancy can be increased an estimated 25 to 35 years.
How does resveratrol work? It stimulates a longevity gene. This triggers a defense enzyme that increases the individual's ability to repair itself.
Oxidative damage is the chief cause of destructive aging and resveratrol is also a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent this.
By preventing oxidative damage the genetic code (DNA) is preserved from a more rapid, age related destruction.
It is also interesting that in Sardinia Italy they have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. They consume a little red wine daily from an early age.
Red wine consumption is not an excuse to overindulge and create the health hazards of increased cardiovascular risk and cirrhosis of the liver. Resveratrol supplements are appearing in health food stores and supplement sources.
What are the health benefits that resveratrol researchers are finding?
" Reduced heart attacks
" Less damage from strokes
" Improved cognition
" Less fat accumulation
" Enhanced immune system against viruses
" Reduced cancers
" Youthful endurance and physical activity
" Youthful appearance
Recent animal studies show that increasing the levels of resveratrol increases the number of mitochondria inside all cells of the body. The significance of this is that mitochondria are the energy factories for individual cells.
One benefit of increasing the number of mitochondria is the reduction of fat. The more efficient the energy production, the more efficient the fat burn by these energy factories.
The second benefit of increased resveratrol is activation of the longevity gene. (This is clearly proven by longevity studies on humans). Where there are high levels of resveratrol, long term, this means as much as a 46% increase in life expectancyas was shown in Burgundy, France.
This longevity gene, SIRT1, promotes better glucose and insulin control which translates into more energy and less fat gain and diabetes.
According to Dr. Mark Stengler in his Bottom Line Natural Healing Newsletter of January 09, metabolism and weight control greatly benefit from resveratrol.
Much current research is now being done. Preliminary studies show two areas of why longevity is extended. The first is believed due to the activity of the longevity gene, SIRT1; it is stimulated and activated. The second is co-related to oxidative damagethe mother of all degenerative diseases.
Robb and others in their research on the biochemistry and biophysics (published in that journal) found a 14 fold increase in the activity of MnSOD (SOD2). The significance of this is that it reduces oxidative damage due to free radicals. (loose electrons). This inhibits heart disease, cancer and all the other inflammatory, degenerative diseases that shorten your life.
SOD2 confers resistance to mitochondrial dysfunction and thereby directly helps heart strength. The mitochondria are the energy factories in all cells. The heart muscle needs at least 4 to 5 times the amount of energy that other cells need. Heart failure is reduced as well as definitely reducing the inflammatory effect of the free radicals.
Heart failure, due to lack of energy from the mitochondria, plus inflammatory atherosclerosis, are the primary factors in heart disease. Resveratrol enormously reduces heart disease. Resveratrol is the most plausible reason for increased life expectancy. (It inhibits other degenerative diseases, thereby also extending longevity)
In animal studies, mice fed unhealthy fats and free radical damaging diets, confirm that indeed oxidative damage was reduced by resveratrol and life expectancy was increased. In other words, in spite of a lousy diet with exposure to free radicals, the resveratrol supplemented mice lived longer and had more physical endurance.
All degenerative diseases benefit from the reduction of free radicals; they are paramount to all degenerative diseases. A heart healthy diet and good supplements make sense for staying healthy and living longer.
The dramatic extension of longevity has caused the phenomenon in Burgundy to be called the "French Paradox". It is a paradox because of the high fat, poor diet consumed by the Burgundy residents; yet they have a better cardiovascular health than most Westernersresidents of the U.S.A.
Some scientists began to question is resveratrol alone the full cause of increased longevity? It turns out there is evidence of another factor.
Dr. Jay Rowen, M.D. reports in his June 2009 newsletter, Second Opinion, that there appears to another factor in the red wine that contributes to longevity. It comes to light from research done at the University of California in Davis. Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, professor there, reports that ingredients called saponins are not only present in the resveratrol but also in the wine itself. They come from the wax in the wine skins.
Research shows that the saponins are plant sterols that are similar to cholesterol but are not harmful, but helpful to your health in two ways. They substitute for the cholesterol, hindering accumulation of it in the arteries and they are antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Antioxidants reduce free radical damage that affects your DNA and genetic code. Damaged DNA produces sick cells that lead to all kinds of degenerative diseases.
Dr. Stengler quotes a colleague, Carrie Doenell, N.D., this: "Energy and weight loss improve in 75% of those taking supplemental resveratrol." Researcher, Dr. Doenell recommends taking 125 mg of resveratrol daily as a preventative measure.