Resveratol has long been touted as an antioxidant for living a longer, healthier life. But a new study contradicts its role in supporting heart health and more. What does it all mean?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound within red grapes and dark chocolate. It's at the heart of the "French Paradox" that suggests a daily glass of red wine can help you live longer. Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol, an antioxidant. The role of antioxidants is to protect the cells of the body against the potential damage of free radicals. Free radicals are a byproduct of energy production and we also encounter them in our daily lives through the environment and pollution.
Resveratrol has been suggested to protect the cells of the heart in particular, reducing the risk for heart disease and heart attacks by preventing damage to the blood vessels and lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol. It's considered a supplement for longevity, with the added potential to regulate the body's inflammatory response and possibly reduce cancer risk.
Published in JAMA Internal Medicine on May 12, this study involved elderly men and women from the Chianti region of Italy who had their health and resveratrol intake tracked from 1998 to 2009. Less than 1 percent of the participants consumed any type of supplement, getting all their recommended daily nutrients from food. The study showed no effect on risk for heart disease, cancer or life expectancy in those who regularly consumed resveratrol through their diet. It also didn't positively affect inflammation.
The results don't rule out possible health benefits of resveratrol, but that a larger dose would probably be needed than what is found in the average diet. There have been positive benefits in larger amounts, but no established dosage has been set yet. Research will need to continue regarding resveratrol supplements to determine their exact action(s) within the body and how this can impact your health in a positive way. Supplements are also not studied and regulated like prescription drugs, although this is slowly changing. That being said, this study didn't involve resveratrol supplements, but the naturally occurring resveratrol found in red wine and dark chocolate.
It also serves as a reminder no one supplement or nutrient, at this time, can prevent disease or even death. Using supplements is a way of supporting your healthy diet and exercise program.
It's important to remember that any supplement, because it's natural, can impact individuals differently. Your doctor can help you determine if a supplement like resveratrol is right for you, especially if you're being treated for a medical condition or if you're pregnant or have recently given birth. Supplements can interfere with certain medications as well as wound healing following surgical procedures, so it's always important to exercise caution when taking them, no matter what they are or they're intended purpose.
If you have further questions about supplements, like resveratrol, feel free to let us know. At eVitamins, we're here to give you all the best information to help you choose the supplements that are right for you. Be well!