Reviewing resveratrol

Last / Next  2009-09-04 07:07:08

Resveratrol, found in grapes and peanuts, is a flavonoid, one of a group of plant
chemicals credited with lowering cholesterol and thus reducing your risk of heart
attack. It’s also linked to a lower risk of some forms of cancer.
In 2001, two reports — one in the American Heart Association’s Circulation, the
other in Atherosclerosis — confirmed earlier speculation that resveratrol powers
up antioxidants, such as vitamin E and vitamin C. These compounds prevent molecule
fragments from linking up to form. rogue molecules that damage body cells.
Juice from purple grapes has more resveratrol than the juice from red grapes, which
has more resveratrol than the juice from white grapes (get the red wine connection?).
To be even more specific, in 1998, a team of food scientists from the USDA
Agricultural Research Service and Mississippi identified a native American grape,
the muscadine, as an unusually potent source of resveratrol.
About half of all muscadines grown in the United States are used to make grape
juice. With that in mind, you can see that teetotalers can get their resveratrol from
grapes and grape juice. Don’t you love it when science serves up something for
everybody?
But suppose you also absolutely, positively hate grape juice. What to do? Easy: Just
pick a pack of peanuts.
A 1998 analysis from the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Raleigh, North
Carolina, shows that peanuts have 1.7 to 3.7 mcg (micrograms) of resveratrol per
gram versus the 0.6 to 8.0 mcg of resveratrol per gram in red wine. This fact may
explain data from the long-running Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s
Hospital Nurses Health Study, which shows that women who eat an ounce of nuts
a day have a lower risk of heart disease. To review: Wine, grape juice, peanuts —
all tools to lengthen life.
Wait. There’s more. Resveratrol pills may be looming on the health horizon.
The whole world knows by now that cutting calories is one way to lose weight, and
that cutting lots and lots of calories may lengthen life, at least in laboratory mice for
which seriously low-calorie diets appear to increase lifespan to the human equivalent
of 162 years. No jokes about the quality of that life, please.
In 2006, researchers at Harvard Medical School announced that feeding resveratrol
to the mice does the same thing, by “turning on long life genes shared by almost all
living organisms,” in the words of study coauthor and molecular biologist David
Sinclair.
Unfortunately, to get the amount of resveratrol needed to produce this effect in mice,
human beings would have to down gazillions of glasses of red wine a day. But one
can practically hear the hoof beats of drug companies in the distance rushing into
to find out how to pack the necessary resveratrol into a human size pill.
To which one can only say, “Get a move on, guy. The world is waiting.”

TAG: Reviewing spirit Spirit Wine wine reviewing resveratrol grape-juice

 

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