Resveratrol is a compound that belongs to a group referred to as polyphenols. Its presence was first discovered in 1939, in the skin of grapevine tissues .
It had been produced in response to an attack on the plant by a certain kind of fungi – which has led to the conclusion that the compound acts as a kind of protector for that plant. This paved the way for research of its benefits on humans.
Benefits of Resveratrol
Resveratrol is gaining attention in the medical field primarily because of two reasons – one, it is reported to have anti-aging properties and thus may prevent or delay the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and two, it can help fight against certain diseases.
While research into its other benefits is still in the initial stages of research – early results state that it may help prevent heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (‘Bad’ cholesterol) and reducing inflammation.
Apart from this, initial stages of other studies have shown that it can help prevent insulin resistance – and thus, maybe a preventive measure with regard to diabetes, and may even reduce the blood sugar levels, by helping improve insulin functioning.
This, along with other factors, allows for it to become a possible agent against many different kinds of lifestyle diseases that are plaguing society these days.
Sources of Resveratrol
There are a few food sources for resveratrol, but its availability is more popular in the form of supplements.
The amount of resveratrol in a particular food can vary greatly. However, there are certain foods that consistently have relatively high amounts of the compound.
As grape is one of the primary sources, it can also be found in the skin of grapes, and in red and white wine. Apart from this, peanuts contain high levels of resveratrol too – boiled ones contain more than the raw kind.
A much-appreciated source of resveratrol is dark chocolate – which contains less resveratrol than grapes or peanuts; even then, the amount received is significant.
Mulberries act as a source for the production of certain resveratrol supplements. Supplements too, vary extensively in the form they are available in – specifically in accordance to purity – they may be completely pure (almost 100%) or maybe close to half of that, or anywhere in between.
Many supplements use extracts from Japanese knotweed. While these extracts are safe when taken in normal amounts, excess consumption may cause them to exhibit their laxative properties.
Deficiencies of Resveratrol
As resveratrol is not an essential nutrient, there are no specific deficiencies caused because of not consuming it i.e. there are no adverse effects.