Ever heard of the French Paradox? It’s the phenomenon that people in France typically eat a diet that’s high in fat-laden pastries and creamy sauces, yet have better heart health than many Americans.
What researchers have found is that at least part of the puzzle lies in the French people’s affinity for red wine. Red wine contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that helps to preserve and restore good health.
In fact, many scientists consider the benefits of resveratrol to be the missing link of anti-aging. In the right protective doses, resveratrol has been shown to promote better cardiovascular health, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, support normal cell replication and promote a young, strong, healthy heart and mind.
What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a special type of antioxidant, called a phytoalexin. It’s found in the skin of red grapes, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts and raspberries. It’s synthesized in plants as a defense against invading fungi. What researchers have found is that similar protective benefits of resveratrol are passed onto humans when they consume it.
How Does Resveratrol Work in the Body?
First and foremost, resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your body’s cells from the normal, but damaging, process of oxidation. Research has shown that the benefits of resveratrol may also include promoting normal cell replication.
Resveratrol also promotes a healthy inflammatory response in your body—including helping to alleviate some of the oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to premature aging. Preliminary research also suggests the benefits of resveratrol may help to protect the blood vessel walls against oxidation, promoting heart and vascular health.
What the Studies Say About the Benefits of Resveratrol
Thousands of studies involving resveratrol have been conducted since the 1980s. One landmark study at Harvard University showed that when mice ate a high-fat, high-calorie diet plus resveratrol beginning at 12 months of age (equivalent to age 40 in humans), they not only lived about 30 percent longer than a control group, but they also had significantly fewer age-associated health problems.
These remarkable results ignited interest in the scientific community and, to date, more than 3,400 peer-reviewed journal articles have been published on this compound. Although most of the studies have involved rodent models, they leave no doubts about resveratrol’s therapeutic potential.
Preliminary studies suggest the polyphenols in resveratrol may inhibit platelet aggregation and may protect the blood vessel walls against oxidative stress. Animal research also suggests wine polyphenols support healthy blood pressure and blood vessel dilation. Plus, it may play a role in promoting healthy aging due to its antioxidant powers, in addition to helping to support normal cell replication.
How to Make the Benefits of Resveratrol Work for You
One way to benefit from resveratrol is by increasing your intake of the foods that contain high amounts of it: Purple grapes and grape juice, peanuts, cranberries and red wine—the darker the better.
But it would be tough, if not impossible, to get the 100-250 mg recommended dose of resveratrol from food alone. For example, you would need to drink about 170 glasses of red wine each day to get that amount of resveratrol! Fortunately, resveratrol is also available in supplement form, but you need to read the labels carefully.
Resveratrol exists in both “cis” and “trans” forms, but it’s the trans-resveratrol form that’s been shown to be most biologically active and protective—so that’s the form you want to seek out. One place you can get a full 100 mg of trans-resveratrol is in Dr. Whitaker’s new and improved Triveratrol Plus formula. It also contains 20 percent red wine polyphenols, which are not found in most resveratrol supplements—which is the same precise blend found in red wine. So why not enjoy life the way the French do – joie de vivre!