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Is all this mere speculation or an excuse to eat more Ben & Jerry’s™ Chocolate ice cream? The good news is that science seems to suggest that there may be more truth than hype to claims of resveratrol’s health benefit. No less than a study from the esteemed Harvard Medical School found that high amounts of red wine extract containing the phytochemical resveratrol was linked to longer life spans and slowed the effects of aging.39
Lab and animal research confirms that resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant—one study showed it was more protective against free radical damage than both vitamins C and E combined. If you’re wondering exactly what makes resveratrol so special and more beneficial than other antioxidants, then you are in good company. Researchers all over the world have been and continue to conduct experiments and clinical studies to figure out the mechanisms by which resveratrol exerts numerous health benefits—from anti-wrinkle to anti-cancer effects. In essence, most findings seemed to indicate that resveratrol does the following:15,39-40
All of these effects basically keep our systems from degenerating over time at the cellular level—deterioration that typically happens as we age. Some research also suggests that one way resveratrol is able to do all these things by activating longevity genes (sirtuins) that control factors which determine lifespan.26
Results of these initial studies have been challenged by others indicating that the testing chemicals used may have influenced the activation of these genes.26
With or Without the Longevity Gene: Health Benefits of Resveratrol
Even as scientists continue to conduct studies into the exact mechanisms by which resveratrol and sirtuin genes work, research continues to indicate specific potential benefits of resveratrol and resveratrol metabolites (which stay in the bloodstream longer),18 including:
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Another word for polyphenol, a biologically
active plant compound.
Antioxidants help keep cells healthy and functioning primarily by
removing unstable free radicals created by oxidizing agents.