In today’s society the quest for the precious “fountain of youth” is becoming more of a reality each day. What seemed like a fantasy years ago is now being seen as a viable concept in modern times; however, the key to staying healthy, feeling more energetic and looking younger is not a one-dimensional process. There is no “miracle pill” or “magic bullet” that will single-handedly reverse the effects of aging while also increasing a person’s quality of life. It is a multi-layered approach consisting of regular exercise, excellent nutrition, mental and spiritual development, adequate rest and proper supplementation. In addition to daily vitamin and mineral supplementation, there are newer nutrients being hailed as powerhouse antioxidants in the battle against aging. One of the frontrunners for anti-aging in the nutrition world is the widely praised resveratrol.
There are numerous sources of resveratrol found in foods and beverages that you very well may be consuming already in your daily nutrition. Dark chocolate, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, pistachios, grapes (particularly the skins) and strawberries all contain varying amounts of resveratrol; however, the most potent source of the nutrient is found in red wine.
Consider the “French Paradox” in which the people of France consistently have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease despite a high intake of saturated fats. The belief is that the higher intake of resveratrol in the daily wine consumption of the French population aids in lowering the chances of cardiovascular health problems. While there are many other factors (such as portion control and active lifestyle choices) that are involved in this interesting case, the health benefits of the nutrients in wine are very powerful. The only catch is that red wine is not an ideal source of resveratrol because of the amount of alcohol contained within it. The most effective way to consume the sufficient amount of the antioxidant for noticeable benefits is through supplementation.
The recommended daily dosage of resveratrol ranges from 250-1000mg. It is so much more cost-effective and health-conscious to obtain resveratrol from a concentrated supplement considering a glass of red wine (5.3 oz) only contains approximately 1.5 mg of resveratrol. It would take many bottles of wine to equal the same amount of resveratrol found in a concentrated capsule. Certainly, consuming foods that are higher in resveratrol content are important in enhancing the effects of the nutrient; however, the foundation of your resveratrol intake is going to be a supplement version of the antioxidant.
In order to understand how resveratrol combats aging and disease within the body, it is important to become aware of how stress affects the body at a molecular level. As oxygen molecules are broken down within the body, the electrons that are not paired become “free radicals.” These free radicals cause damage to cells, protein and even DNA. They are the byproducts of chemical reactions within the body. Protecting the body from free radical damage is crucial in slowing the aging process. Free radicals damage the cells at a molecular level when the body is under stress. The cumulative damage caused by free radicals over time can lead to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and more. While free radicals do cause damage to the cells in higher amounts, the body actually does need free radicals for immune system functioning to help attack foreign agents that invade the bloodstream. The key to winning the battle of aging is the right balance of free radicals within the body for overall health.
Resveratrol can help achieve the proper balance of free radicals within the body by penetrating deeply into the center of a cell’s nucleus in order to give the body’s DNA time to repair the damage inflicted by the free radicals upon the cell. This can stop the degenerative process that free radicals cause as they damage cells. In some cases, resveratrol can stop free radical damage so well that it actually can prevent the spread of cancer cells. It also helps to keep blood circulating while providing many anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition to the cellular and cardiovascular benefits of resveratrol, it is also a metabolism booster for better weight management. With its blood sugar-lowering abilities, resveratrol is also effective in controlling diabetes. There are numerous blood pressure benefits of resveratrol as well. It produces more nitric oxide which helps blood vessels to relax. This can help the body maintain lower blood pressure despite the tendency for arteries to stiffen as a result of aging.
In addition to obtaining the benefits of resveratrol by taking it either in capsule, liquid or pill form, there are actually skin care benefits of the antioxidant when it is applied topically. Many makeup companies are even including it as an important ingredient in various makeup product formulas because of its anti-aging effects. Resveratrol has been known to reduce wrinkles, decrease acne and improve skin dryness by protecting the cells of the skin from free radical damage. Much like Vitamin C and Vitamin E serums, resveratrol is quickly becoming a standard component in many individuals’ skin care routines.
As beneficial as resveratrol can be for overall health and wellness, there are considerations to keep in mind before starting a daily routine of taking the antioxidant. The short-term side effects that can occur when ingesting a resveratrol supplement include upset stomach, cramping and diarrhea. Appetite may decrease when taking the supplement as well. Each person’s body may react differently to a resveratrol supplement. Like most vitamins, nutrients and medications, the side effects of resveratrol can be as varied as the benefits of taking the antioxidant in a concentrated supplement form. Please consult with your doctor before including the antioxidant as a daily supplement in your diet. There may be pre-existing conditions that do not befit taking supplementary resveratrol.
There is also the possibility of a resveratrol supplement negatively interacting with medications. The most common issue that arises with resveratrol is the interaction it may have with blood thinner medications. Because of its ability to slow blood clotting, resveratrol should not be taken by anyone already on a strict daily routine of taking blood thinners. If you are taking any blood pressure medications, then resveratrol supplementation is also not advised. With its common effect of lowering blood pressure, the possibility of a resveratrol supplement negatively interacting with hypertension medications is too risky. Taking a concentrated daily dose of resveratrol along with a blood pressure medication could possibly lower the blood pressure too much which could lead to serious health problems.
If resveratrol is right for you then the benefits can enhance the quality of your life on so many levels. From its anti-aging abilities to the beneficial circulatory system and heart health effects of the antioxidant, it certainly has found a place in the daily supplement regimen of many individuals who have improved their lives by simply adding it to their daily routine of vitamins and nutritional supplements along with a balanced lifestyle. Resveratrol can be exactly what your body needs for lowering blood sugar, increasing energy and even preventing cancer. Please check with your doctor to see if it may be an effective addition to your daily supplement routine. It just may be exactly the nutrient that you have been searching for in your pursuit of health and wellness.