Resveratrol, a phytochemical found in red grapes, grape juice and red wine, has been shown to prolong life in yeast and animals because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. But does that mean it has the same effects on the human body? University at Buffalo (UB) endocrinologists have tested the natural compound for the first time in a prospective trial in people and found the answer appears to be “yes”. And that finding adds to the growing amount of evidence that resveratrol may not only protect health but promote human longevity, too.
Husam Ghanim, PhD, UB research assistant professor of medicine and first author on the study, which was just published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, pointed out in a press statement that resveratrol has already been shown to extend life as well as to reduce the rate of aging in roundworms and fruit flies — most likely because it increases expression of a specific gene associated with longevity. There’s also research showing it plays a role in insulin resistance, a condition linked to oxidative stress (which is known to raise the risk of a host of serious health problems from heart disease to diabetes).
“Since there are no data demonstrating the effect of resveratrol on oxidative and inflammatory stress in humans, we decided to determine if the compound reduces the level of oxidative and inflammatory stress in humans,” Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, UB distinguished professor of medicine and senior author on the study, said in the media release. “Several of the key mediators of insulin resistance also are pro-inflammatory, so we investigated the effect of resveratrol on their expression as well.”
For the groundbreaking study, which was conducted at Kaleida Health’s Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York where Dr. Dandona is the director, 20 research participants were divided into two groups. One group received a supplement containing 40 milligrams of resveratrol while the other group received an identical pill containing no active ingredient. Each person took either the resveratrol or placebo pill daily for six weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken at the start of the trial and at weeks one, three and six.
The results? The resveratrol supplement suppressed the generation of unstable molecules known as free radicals. By causing oxidative stress, free radicals spur inflammation which can damage the lining of blood vessels.
What’s more, the blood taken from those who took the resveratrol supplement also showed suppression of the inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and other similar compounds that increase inflammation in blood vessels and interfere with the action of insulin. The blood samples from research subjects receiving the placebo showed no change in these biochemical markers of inflammation.
Shutting down inflammatory factors is significant because it indicates that in the long term, resveratrol could have an impact on whether someone develops type 2 diabetes and heart disease and/ or suffers a stroke. In addition, according to Dr. Dandona, it indicates the compound could have an anti-aging effect in humans.
As NaturalNews recently reported, French researchers also have made progress figuring out how resveratrol promotes health. In the first ever primate study of its kind, scientists from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris found resveratrol has the ability to rev up metabolism and spark weight loss (http://www.naturalnews.com/027420_r…).