(NaturalNews) Resveratrol has become the nutrient de jour over the last couple of years. It is considered a protection against heart disease and aging with its related diseases. It also offers an excuse to drink more red wine! Resveratrol supplements have been tagged as longevity pills. Recent research and studies have weeded out some of the hype. What remains are less spectacular but valid health benefits.
What Caused the Excitement
Resveratrol's initial publicity was a result of trying to solve the "French Paradox". The rich high fat French cuisine accompanied by low heart disease and obesity rates among the French just didn't make sense. After isolating resveratrol from red wine, this assumption was made: The French consumed enough wine containing resveratrol to offer immunity from heart disease despite their high fat diets.
Subsequent studies have shown that the amount of resveratrol from red wine consumption may not be enough to explain the "French Paradox". But there is still nutritional merit in resveratrol along with the other foods containing it.
Those other foods include Japanese knotweed root for teas, muscadine grapes (seeds and skins), grape juice, cocao and dark chocolate, peanuts, blueberries and cranberries. Their resveratrol content levels from highest to lowest are pretty much in the order listed.
Getting Real With Resveratrol
Even if you eat all the above foods on a regular basis you probably won't get enough resveratrol to dramatically impact your health to the level of earlier hype on inhibiting cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. These foods do contain other beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants, which do offer positive synergistic effects with resveratrol to slow aging issues.
But perhaps concentrated resveratrol supplements can meet those earlier expectations. Many of the resveratrol supplements are extracted and concentrated from the Japanese knotweed plant and grapes. So at least they are mostly food based supplements. It seems home made tinctures made from bulk knotweed roots would be cost effective, but for now most of the knotweed is contracted out to supplement companies. What's left goes for top dollar.
Lozenges are considered superior to tablets and pills for supplementing since most of ingested resveratrol gets broken down in the gut and doesn't make it to the bloodstream. Holding the lozenge in one's mouth allows the surface area inside the mouth to directly absorb most of the nutrient into the bloodstream.
What It Is
The Japanese and Chinese have benefited from resveratrol for centuries by using knotweed for teas. But it wasn't until the 1980s that the active phytonutrient resveratrol was isolated. Resveratrol is a chemical that spermatophyte (seed producing) plants create to ward off attacking fungi and bacteria. So it's ironically logical that plants from regions with the most fungi and bacteria exposure have the highest concentrations of resveratrol! Where the plants are grown is almost as important as the type of plant grown.
This may also highlight the eminence of organic. If synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides are used to keep the plants from being attacked by fungi and bacteria, those plants probably produce less resveratrol. But the toxic poisons do get passed on to you. Peanuts, high in resveratrol, are among the most heavily sprayed plants. So it's especially important to go organic with peanuts and peanut butter.
While lozenge supplements and tincture extracts may offer the highest concentrations of resveratrol to help keep you from aging too soon and to help prevent some age related diseases, it's nice to know that munching on your dark chocolate after eating a peanut butter sandwich and drinking a glass of grape juice is benefiting you as well.
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com