What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is scientifically known as a phytoalexin that is produced by some plants when they are under attack by bacteria or fungi. It is naturally found in the skin of red grapes, as well as in peanuts, knotweed and mulberries. It was first isolated in 1940 from the root of white hellebore and broke the headlines in the year 2006 when studies showed that it prevented overfed mice from gaining excess weight. It also slowed the aging process in mice. Having been identified also as a potent antioxidant, it is now being produced through chemical synthesis as well.

Resveratrol: What You Need to Know

It is believed that resveratrol helps protect humans from the negative effects of having a high-calorie diet. Further studies demonstrate that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties as well. These characteristics are what make this very popular in today's medical world, as it is believed to provide protection to our blood vessels and prevent damage normally caused by free radicals in our body. More recent medical research have even shown that it may be beneficial to people who suffer from or are at risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, since it protects the heart and brain from the dangers of oxidized fat.

Resveratrol: Important Reminders

Just like any medical breakthrough, however, there are important reminders to bear in mind about resveratrol. It is vulnerable to oxygen and light, so red wine has to be kept in an airtight container with cool temperatures, away from direct sunlight in order to get maximum benefit from the antioxidant. It is also important to note that when taken orally, the bioavailability of this antioxidant is lower because it is metabolized more quickly. Latest studies are being made for the use of this compound in preventing or treating damages caused by hyperglycemia.

Last Updated: August 28, 2010.