Resveratrol: Anti-Aging Gene Activation
• Resveratrol has been found to be the first molecule to delay the aging process across a vastly diverse array of organisms. (3) Longevity studies conducted on yeast, worms, fruit flies, fish and mice using Reseveratrol, demonstrated significant enhancements to their lifespans. (1,2) Resveratrol appears to mimic the effects of calorie restriction (30-50% reduction of normal calorie intake), which had been shown to be the only known method of increasing the lifespan of organisms. (4) Current research indicates that resveratrol increases activity of the SIRT1 gene, which has also been referred to as the "longevity gene". (1,2)
• Among the changes produced by Resveratrol which are associated
with increased longevity: (1,2)
• Resveratrol has been shown to be an strong anti-inflammatory agent, through the downregulation of the inflammatory response mediators. (5) Contributing to the inflammatory response are reactive oxygen species (free radicals). As a potent antioxidant, resveratrol mitigates the inflammatory effects of the free radicals. (6) Chronic inflammation is a known aging accelerator.
• Numerous studies have established Resveratrol as possessing potent anti-cancer properties. In experiments using a number of different types of cancerous tumors, Resveratrol was able to suppress the growth / proliferation of the associated cells. (11) (research: in vitro / cell cultures) Resevertrol blocks carcinogenesis at many points in the development of cancer. This includes carcinogen activation, suppression of tumor initiation, promotion and progression. (11,12) (research: in vivo / animals). The authors of the research also suggest that Resveratrol has potential as a therapeutic agent against cancer. (11)
• As used in conjunction with anti-cancer drugs, Resveratrol acts to sensitize the cancer cells, making the anti-cancer drugs more effective for apoptosis (cell death).(13) • In prostate cancer, inflammation of the prostate appears to be a significant risk factor. Resveratrol is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which may play a role in its anti-cancer actions for the prostate. (14) Other research into Reveratrol's cancer prevention of the prostate, indicate that Resveratrol also modifies a certain protein in the cancer cell to faciliate apoptosis. (16) Resveratrol also exhibits an antiproliferation effect on prostate cancer cells. (17)
• Recent research involving colorectal cancer indicate that Resveratrol's chemoprotective mechanism is more unique, targeting the lysosome of the cell, resulting in death of the cancer cell. (15)
• Resveratrol offers some cardioprotection during and subsequent to a cardiac ischemia injury. (20). Cardiac ischemia is the lack of oxygen to a portion of the heart, usually caused by a blockage of one of the major vessels feeding the heart, and can precede a heart attack. Cardiac ischemia results in many consequences to the heart, including damage to cardiomyocytes (heart cells). Research has shown that Resveratrol can attenuate the degree of injury to the heart. (research: in vivo / animals) • Supports vascular health by decreasing oxidative vascular stress (by scavenging the free radicals H202), and inhibiting vascular endothelial cell death induced by oxidative stress. (21) (research: in vitro / cell cultures)
Diabetes & Hyperglycemia
• Blood glucose lowering effects (anti-hypergylcemic) with resveratrol has been shown in both normal and diabetic lab animals. (23)(research: in vivo / animals) Reseveratrol lowered blood sugar levels in a dose dependent manner, 90 minutes after oral administration. Glucose lowering actions of resveratrol involve both insulin-dependent (with an associated increase in insulin levels) and non-insulin dependent pathways.
• In studies with diabetic animals, resveratrol significantly reduced oxidative stress levels in the brain and increased the glutathione levels (an important antioxidant). (22) (research: in vivo / animals)
• Mitochondria are involved with cellular aerobic energy production. Such is the importance of the mitochondria's production of energy, that decreased production of mitochondrial energy is linked to reduced longevity.Recent studies with resveratrol and mice have shown that resveratrol significantly increased the exercise and aerobic capacity, and consequently greater energy expenditure, of the animals. These gains came as a result of substantial increases in mitochondrial activity in the muscle. (1) As part of the same research paper, resveratrol treated mice were also able to increase the duration of endurance running time (until exhaustion) by two times that of the untreated mice.Another significant reported benefit of this research indicated that the resveratrol treated mice significantly improved tissue insulin sensitivity.
• In a another study (2), resveratrol treated mice reported similar results, including an increase number of mitochondria, improved insulin sensitivity and enhanced motor activity levels. As with the resveratrol longevity studies, the underlying mechanism is thought to be the activation of the SIRT1 gene, which is implicated as the regulator of energy expenditure in the body. (1)
Men's Reproductive and Sexual Health
• Resveratrol treatment in animals demonstrated significant improvements on male reproductive health. Findings from resveratrol adminstration over a 28 day period, demonstrated increased levels of testosterone, an increase in sperm count and mobility, and a relaxation of the penis corpus cavernosum, enhancing penile erections. (25)(research: in vivo / animals)
Neuro Protection | Alzheimer's
• I n cell culture studies, Resveratrol has been shown to significantly reduce the amounts of amyloid-beta content which is associated with the neurodegenerative process in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) (in vitro / Cell cultures) (7). The research authors propose that the reduction in amyloid-beta is the result of resveratrol promoting the intracellular breakdown of amyloid-beta. Resveratrol does not, however, stop the synthesis of the amyloid-beta. It is also suggested by the study authors that resveratrol has therapeutic potential in AD.
• Amyloid-beta in AD also induces neurotoxicity, by generating free radicals, and destructive levels of oxidative stress. Resveratrol reverses this neurotoxic state by enhancing intracellular levels of the antioxidant glutathione. (9) • Another study showed that Resveratrol can improve the cognition abilities in mice with AD. (10) Tests involving cognitive behavior demonstrated improvement with Resveratrol. The authors stated that the beneficial effects of Resveratrol on cognition is due to its ability to modulate acetylcholinesterase (an enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine - the memory neurotransmitter), and its function as an antioxidant and antiapoptosis agent.
• Furthermore, Resveratrol also modulates the pathological mechanisms of other neurologic disorders, such as strokes, ischemia and Huntington's Disease. (8). It is suggested, therefore, that Resveratrol offers protection against neuronal degeneration.Studies involving cerebral ischemia induced neuron damage, through the loss of blood supply to the brain (such as a stroke), further demonstrated Resveratrol's neuroprotective effects. Resveratrol reduces free radical damage of the neurons, and through stimulating nitric oxide release, increases cerebral blood flow. (18, 19)(research: in vivo / animals) implicated as the regulator of energy expenditure in the body. (1)
Osteo Arthritis Therapy
• Inflammation plays a significant role in the process of osteoarthritis. Much of this can be attributed to the destruction of the cartilage cells, the chondrocytes, which manufacture and maintain the cartilage. In a study using human articular chondrocytes, resveratrol was shown to protect the chondrocytes against cellular death through the inhibition of inflammatory compounds and other cellular pathways. The authors propose additional studies for the potential use of resveratol for osteoarthritis therapy. (24)(research: in vitro
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(24) Csaki C, et al. Regulation of inflammation signalling by resveratrol in human chondrocytes in vitro. Biochem Pharmacol. 2008 Feb 1;75(3):677-87.
(25) Shin S, et al. trans-Resveratrol relaxes the corpus cavernosum ex vivo and enhances testosterone levels and sperm quality in vivo. Arch Pharm Res. 2008 Jan;31(1):83-7..20866.