Also Known As: Cis-Resveratrol, Kojo-Kon, Phytoalexin, Phytoestrogen, Protykin, Red Wine Extract, RSV, RSVL, Stilbene Phytoalexin, Trans-Resveratrol, Wine Extract, Wine Pill
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a chemical compound found in various fruits and other plants. Labeled a phytoalexin, resveratrol is a plant substance that naturally produces an antibiotic component that fights both bacteria and fungi.
Resveratrol is found in grapes and grape skins used to produce wine. It is also found in cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, peanuts, certain pine trees, and in the Japanese knotweed plant.
There are two types of resveratrol – trans and cis. They are both found naturally in resveratrol, however Trans-Resveratrol is the beneficial substance. Cis-Resveratrol has no benefits. The higher the purity of resveratrol, the higher the amount of trans-resveratrol in the supplement.
The ingredient Resveratrol-99 contains 99 percent of pure trans-resveratrol, while resveratrol-50 contains only 50 percent of trans-resveratrol and another 50 percent of natural plant parts that have no health benefits. It is important to note that often this 50 percent of natural plant parts will include cis-resveratrol and natural emodin, which can work as a laxative for some individuals.
The appearance of the encapsulated resveratrol varies greatly if it is pure trans-resveratrol. The pure trans-resveratrol is white, and has no odor. The product with cis-resveratrol will generally be darker in color and have an odor.
As the popularity of resveratrol supplements increases, many companies offer a resveratrol product, and a lot of those products contain cis-resveratrol or a mixture of the two.
Benefits and Uses of Resveratrol Extract
Resveratrol is linked to numerous health benefits, many that have undergone or are going through scientific testing. Among those health benefits you’ll find the following:
- Coronary Heart Disease Prevention – Resveratrol research indicates that it decreases an individual’s probability of contracting heart disease.
- Life Extending – Resveratrol is believed to extend both lifespan and quality of life in its ability to increase activity levels to a greater age.
- Brain Activity – Resveratrol may increase brain activity and significantly reduce the neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Decrease in Radiation Side Effects – Research has shown that resveratrol can assist in lowering the severity of side effects caused by radiation exposure.
- Metabolic Increase – Resveratrol benefits include its ability to increase the metabolic rate which may translate into a decrease in weight and increase in energy.
- Anti-oxidant Benefits – As a strong anti-oxidant, resveratrol functions as scavenger, collecting and clearing free radicals from our bodies, and then repairing the damage caused by these free radicals.
Other benefits include how Resveratrol works as an anti-inflammatory, it increases nitric oxide production which can result in cardiovascular benefits and may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.
The breakdown of beta-amyloid and direct effects on neural tissues may minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol has also been found to increase energy levels, stamina, and patience, so it is a great supplement for athletes.
Resveratrol has been shown to have a positive effect on estrogenic activity and may be able to prevent post-menopausal bone loss. Another benefit includes its ability to open restricted blood vessels and arteries. It also works as a blood thinning agent.
One research study stated, “It (resveratrol) was also shown to cause an increase in cerebral blood flow in healthy volunteers while performing cognitive tasks.”
Side Effects of Resveratrol
Headaches are one of the most common side effects reported with the use of resveratrol supplements that exceed 500 mg per day. This is considered a high concentration of resveratrol, as most of the over-the-counter supplements contain less than 300 mg.
Other reported side effects at this concentrated amount include anxiety attacks, tendonitis, and numbing of fingers.