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Stay Healthy with Resveratrol
Named as everything from a miracle cure for obesity, a source for eternal youth, and an explanation for the so-called French paradox, resveratrol has been the focus of a lot of buzz for several years now.1 Resveratrol is a polyphenol called a stilbene found in many plants, especially in those plants containing a natural deep purplish hue.2 It’s the grape skins that give red wine high levels of resveratrol, which may explain the seeming paradox between a high-fat, wine-loving French diet and their relatively low rates of heart disease.3 And surely every chocolate lover will be a resveratrol devotee when they learn that chocolate ranks second after red wines and grape juice in terms of resveratrol content.4
Resveratrol News Flash!
Lozenges May Increase Resveratrol's Bioavailability
Could lozenges be a better way to get your daily dose of resveratrol? Preliminary clinical research by a lab in San Antonio, Texas hints they might be. Results suggest lozenges could help overcome perceived limitations of oral resveratrol supplements. (277)
In the study, two healthy male volunteers in their early thirties were each given one hard lozenge to take (similar to a cough drop or piece of small hard candy). The 2000-mg lozenges contained 8% resveratrol dissolved in sugar, for about 146 mg of resveratrol per piece. (277)
Peak levels of resveratrol were reached in the blood within 15 minutes. More importantly, the levels of non-metabolized resveratrol were much greater than those found in similar doses of resveratrol supplements that are swallowed. (277)
Why is Bioavailability Important?
Animal and human clinical studies suggest that resveratrol is good for heart health and metabolism. It also has anti-inflammatory effects. (277)
However, once swallowed, how much resveratrol actually gets into the bloodstream after breaking down in the digestive system isn't very much. This has led to concerns about resveratrol's low bioavailability. In other words, experts wonder if there's even enough resveratrol left in its whole form to have a therapeutic effect. (277)
Some animal studies indicate that resveratrol metabolites are also beneficial and may convert back to resveratrol afterwards (before being excreted). But the evidence isn't conclusive, so scientists have been trying to find ways to improve resveratrol's bioavailability. (277)
Lozenges Produce Higher Plasma Levels
Much higher peak levels of resveratrol in the blood were found in both volunteers who participated in this recently-published study. Blood tests showed that maximum levels from the lozenges were over 12 times higher than average peak levels shown in other research using 200-mg oral resveratrol supplements. (277)
The authors caution that this was only a proof-of-concept study. Still, the findings suggest that lozenges could help improve bioavailability of resveratrol - ostensibly increasing its healthful benefits. (277)
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Components of plants that can influence physiological and
cellular activity in humans and animals.