For Healthy Aging, a Toast to Resveratrol
A University of Florida review of research says the polyphenol compound known as resveratrol in red wine, grapes and other foods may have widespread anti-aging effects, and even protect against diseases.
The comprehensive review of human clinical research on resveratrol has found it has "anti-aging … anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties." The researchers examined the current body of research in order to glean knowledge which might serve as a guide for future human study of this powerful antioxidant.
Resveratrol acts to combat oxidation – a natural chemical process of aging which produces “rogue molecules” in the human body – think of them as a rampaging gang of punks causing trouble everywhere in the ‘hood (which, in this case, is your organs and tissues). The resulting cellular damage from free radicals provides a pathway for illness and premature aging. Visualize the effect of oxidation on your body with the image of rust clogging the working parts of an old bicycle, and you’ll get the idea.
Antioxidants such as resveratrol suppress the damage caused by free radicals. They are the superheroes of the community that is your body.
In recent years, we’ve been hearing a lot about the healthful benefit of red wine, which contains the potent antioxidant resveratrol. It’s the grapes, not the alcohol, responsible for these healthy properties. That’s why grape juice (especially the dark-colored kind) is recommended for those who must avoid alcohol. If you do enjoy wine, you may be interested to know that the Pinot Noir varietal is thought to contain the highest levels of resveratrol.
If you’re not keen on either wine or grape juice, you can still get the health benefits of resveratrol from other foods including peanuts, dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
Wine and chocolates, anyone?