It’s not by the skin of your teeth that resveratrol possesses the power to provide a variety of health benefits. It’s more like the skin of your grapes. Red grapes, that is. For it is from the skin of grapes, among other sources, that resveratrol is produced – a polyphenol that is believed to act like an antioxidant, protecting our body from the kind of damage that can make us susceptible to serious problems, such as heart disease.
So, admit it, when you read that resveratrol is among a beneficial group of compounds known as polyphenols and that it comes from the skin of red grapes, you got to thinking that maybe red wine might also be a good source of resveratrol as well. Well, if that’s what you thought, you are correct in thinking so.
While there is no ironclad evidence that red wine can actually prevent heart attacks, health experts believe that, consumed in moderation, red wine is healthy for humans and it MAY prevent coronary artery disease, a frequent precursor to heart attacks, per Mayo Clinic. Resveratrol, as you might have assumed, has been pegged as a key ingredient in that it can help guard against damage to blood vessels, while also lowering the risk of blood clots and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It can also reduce the chances of inflammation, as well as, per healthline.com, blood pressure levels and protect cognitive function.
Keep in mind, though, that drinking a bottle of red wine a night might not be the smartest thing to do. As is frequently the recommendation... everything in moderation.
What is Resveratrol?
Per healthline.com, a plant compound, resveratrol has healthy antioxidant properties. Its most common food sources include not just red wine and grapes but berries and peanuts as well. The compound is focused mainly in the skins and seeds of grapes and berries, which are used in the fermentation of red wine, and that helps explain the elevated concentration of resveratrol in red wine.
A Breakdown of Resveratrol’s Health Benefits
Let’s take a more thorough look at how and why resveratrol can benefit our health:
- Joint pain. More specifically, arthritis, which often is accompanied by pain in the joints as well as a loss of mobility. Although resveratrol is still being studied, research has shown that it might be effective in preventing the breakdown of cartilage, which is a common symptom of arthritis and a source of joint pain.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Per webmd.com, resveratrol appears capable of protecting nerve cells from damage while also limiting the amount of plaque buildup that can be a contributing factor to the disease. Resveratrol appears to fight plaque accumulation by interfering with beta-amyloids, which are protein fragments believed to contribute to that buildup of plaque, per National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Diabetes. Resveratrol apparently can help impede insulin resistance, a disorder whereby our body loses sensitivity to insulin, which is the hormone that works to lower our blood sugar requiring the need for various diabetic aids.
- Heart disease. As discussed above, resveratrol can contribute to heart health in numerous ways, such as lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and inhibiting the formation of blood clots that can lead to a heart attack. It can also work to reduce blood pressure by diminishing the systolic blood pressure (the upper reading), which is that pressure applied against artery walls each time the heart beats, per NIH.
- Anti-aging. Resveratrol’s reported anti-aging properties have been evident in testing on various living organisms (not humans), where it has been shown that the compound stimulates certain genes – such as the SIRT1 gene, which is thought to protect the body against obesity effects and diseases related to aging (such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes), per webmd.com.