We hope you have room for one more gift—from resveratrol! It can help make for a wonderful life.
Research indicates that resveratrol, a member of a group of plant compounds called polyphenols, may help support a healthy heart, cellular health, blood sugar balance, brain health, a healthy weight, a long life and more.
More specifically, resveratrol—found in red wine, in the skins of red grapes and to a lesser degree in peanuts and berries—can positively affect inflammation levels, LDL “bad” cholesterol and clotting so that cardiovascular health is supported. Resveratrol is also thought to limit the spreading of unhealthy, damaging, rogue cells and to trigger the death process of those health-destroying cells.
Then there’s resveratrol’s effect on blood sugar. It is said to support blood sugar health and balance by its positive effects on insulin—helping the body to remain sensitive to insulin, a huge part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. As far as brain health, resveratrol appears to protect brain nerve cells from damage and to halt the buildup of unhealthy plaque in the brain. That can help protect the brain from devastating damage.
Animal studies also report that resveratrol may help fight against some of the outcomes of an unhealthy lifestyle and can even lead to increased longevity—effects that could translate to humans as well.
In fact, resveratrol-treated mice fed a high-calorie diet lived longer than mice fed a similar diet but not given resveratrol. What’s more is that mice fed a high-calorie diet and given resveratrol were protected against problems associated with being overweight because resveratrol mimicked the effects of caloric restriction.
Now, that’s a real gift from resveratrol!
Here’s what happened. Scientists from Arizona State University, Harvard Medical School and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences published some intriguing results in the journal Aging. The researchers noted in the honey bees they studied that not only did resveratrol extend the lifespan of the honey bees by 33 to 38 percent, but it also triggered a “moderation effect” when it came to the honey bees’ eating their sugary diet.
Dr. Brenda Rascón, lead author of the study, says, “For the first time, we conducted several tests on the effects of resveratrol by using the honey bee as a model. We were able to confirm that under normal living conditions, resveratrol lengthened lifespan in honey bees.”
And just what did the researchers attribute the life-lengthening effects to? Interestingly, although resveratrol is a potent antioxidant, they pointed to resveratrol’s ability to decrease sensitivity to sugar. Sugar promotes early disease development by damaging sugar-protein cross links known as advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. However, resveratrol supplementation caused the bees to lose interest in eating a lot of sugar, and, thereby, acted as a calorie intake suppressor for the bees.
Fellow study researcher, Gro Amdam, an associate professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, points out, “Because what we eat is such an important contributor to our physical health, we looked at the bees' sensitivity to sugar and their willingness to consume it. Bees typically gorge on sugar, and while it's the best thing for them, we know that eating too much is not necessarily a good thing."
Pretty awesome gifts from resveratrol, right?