Resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria orfungi. Food sources of resveratrol include the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries.
The first mention of resveratrol was in a Japanese article in 1939 by Michio Takaoka, who isolated it from the poisonous, but medicinal, Veratrum album, variety grandiflorum. The name presumably comes from the fact that it is a resorcinol derivative coming from a Veratrum species. In 2003, D. Sinclair from Harvard Medical School reported in Nature that resveratrol activated sirtuins in yeast cells. This was immediately followed by the launch of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. While pharmacological effects of resveratrol did not turn out to be commercially viable, their discovery led to efforts to develop other types of SIRT genes’ activators.
Resveratrol was originally isolated by Takaoka from the roots of hellebore in 1940, and later, in 1963, from the roots of Japanese knotweed. It attracted wider attention only in 1992, however, when its presence in wine was suggested as the explanation for cardioprotective effects of wine.
In grapes, trans-resveratrol is a phytoalexin produced against the growth of fungal pathogens such as Botrytis cinerea. Its presence in Vitis vinifera grapes can also be constitutive, with accumulation in ripe berries of different levels of bound and free resveratrols, according to the genotype. In grapes, resveratrol is found primarily in the skin, and, in muscadine grapes, also in the seeds. The amount found in grape skins also varies with the grape cultivar, its geographic origin, and exposure to fungal infection. The amount of fermentation time a wine spends in contact with grape skins is an important determinant of its resveratrol content.
It is also found in Pinus strobus, the eastern white pine.
The levels of resveratrol found in food varies greatly. Red wine contains between 0.2 and 5.8 mg/l, depending on the grape variety, while white wine has much less, because red wine is fermented with the skins, allowing the wine to extract the resveratrol, whereas white wine is fermented after the skin has been removed. The composition of wine is different from that of grapes since the extraction of resveratrols from grapes depends on the duration of the skin contact, and the resveratrol 3-glucosides are in part hydrolysed, yielding both trans– and cis-resveratrol. A number of reports have indicated muscadine grapes may contain high concentrations of resveratrol, and that wines produced from these grapes, both red and white, may contain more than 40 mg/l, however, subsequent studies have found little or no resveratrol in different varieties of muscadine grapes.
One of the most promising sources is peanuts, especially sprouted peanuts where the content rivals that in grapes. Before sprouting, it was in the range of 2.3 to 4.5 μg/g, and after sprouting, in the range of 11.7 to 25.7 μg/g depending upon peanut cultivar.
The fruit of the mulberry (esp. the skin) is a source, and is sold as a nutritional supplement.
Cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and dark chocolate also have low levels of resveratrol in normal consumption quantities (0.35 to 1.85 mg/kg).
Wine and grape juice
|Beverage||Total resveratrol (mg/l)||Total resveratrol (mg/150 ml)|
|Red wine (global)||1.98 – 7.13||0.30 – 1.07|
|Red wine (Spanish)||1.92 – 12.59||0.29 – 1.89|
|Red grape juice (Spanish)||1.14 – 8.69||0.17 – 1.30|
|Rose wine (Spanish)||0.43 – 3.52||0.06 – 0.53|
|Pinot noir||0.40 – 2.0||0.06 – 0.30|
|White wine (Spanish)||0.05 – 1.80||0.01 – 0.27|
The trans-resveratrol concentration in 40 Tuscan wines ranged from 0.3 to 2.1 mg/l in the 32 red wines tested and had a maximum of 0.1 mg/l in the 8 white wines in the test. Both the cis– and trans-isomers of resveratrol were detected in all tested samples. cis-resveratrol levels were comparable to those of the trans-isomer. They ranged from 0.5 mg/l to 1.9 mg/l in red wines and had a maximum of 0.2 mg/l in white wines.
In a review of published resveratrol concentrations, the average in red wines is 1.9±1.7 mg trans-resveratrol/L (8.2±7.5 µM, ranging from nondetectable levels to 14.3 mg/l (62.7 μM) trans-resveratrol. Levels of cis-resveratrol follow the same trend as trans-resveratrol.
Reports suggest some aspect of the wine making process converts piceid to resveratrol in wine, as wine seems to have twice the average resveratrol concentration of the equivalent commercial juices.
In general, wines made from grapes of the Pinot Noir and St. Laurent varieties showed the highest level of trans-resveratrol, though no wine or region can yet be said to produce wines with significantly higher concentrations than any other wine or region.
Moderate drinking of red wine has long been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. This is best known as “the French paradox“.
Studies suggest resveratrol in red wine may play an important role in this phenomenon. It appears to stimulate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity and inhibit platelet aggregation.
The French Paradox
The French paradox is a catchphrase, first used in the late 1980s, which summarizes the apparently paradoxical epidemiological observation that French people have a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), while having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats, in apparent contradiction to the widely held belief that the high consumption of such fats is a risk factor for CHD. The paradox is that if the thesis linking saturated fats to CHD is valid, the French ought to have a higher rate of CHD than comparable countries where the per capita consumption of such fats is lower.
The French paradox implies two important possibilities. The first is that the hypothesis linking saturated fats to CHD is not completely valid (or, at the extreme, is entirely invalid). The second possibility is that the link between saturated fats and CHD is valid, but that some additional factor in the French diet or lifestyle mitigates this risk—presumably with the implication that if this factor can be identified, it can be incorporated into the diet and lifestyle of other countries, with the same lifesaving implications observed in France. Both possibilities have generated considerable media interest, as well as some scientific research.
The overall impact of the popular perception, in the English-speaking world, that the French paradox is a real phenomenon, has been to give added credibility to health claims associated with specific French dietary practices.
This was seen most dramatically when, in 1991, an early account of the then-novel concept of the French paradox was aired in the United States on 60 Minutes.The broadcast left the impression that France’s high levels of red wine consumption accounted for much of the country’s lower incidence of cardiac disease. Within a year, the consumption of red wine in the United States had increased 44% and some wine sellers began promoting their products as “health food.”
The cultural impact of the French paradox can be seen in the large number of book titles in the diet-and-health field which purport to give the reader access to the secrets behind the paradox:
- The Fat Fallacy: The French Diet Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss (William Clower, 2003);
- The French Don’t Diet Plan: 10 Simple Steps to Stay Thin for Life (William Clower, 2006)
- French Women Don’t Get Fat (Mireille Guiliano, 2004, which became a #1 best-seller in 2006)
- Cholesterol and The French Paradox (Frank Cooper, 2009);
- The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook (Mireille Guiliano, 2010).
Other books sought to boost their credibility by reference to the French paradox. The American edition of The Dukan Diet, written by Pierre Dukan, a Paris-based doctor, is marketed with the subtitle, “The real reason the French stay thin.”
SISEL INTERNATIONAL’s ETERNITY
Eternity is Resveratrol done right. SISEL’s patent pending, liquid formula is designed to protect Resveratrol from degradation on its way through the digestive system and into the cells. Eternity is highly fortified and it tastes great!
Not all Resveratrol supplements are the same.
Resveratrol comes in two forms: cis- and trans-isomers. Cis is inert and ineffective, whereas trans is active. Eternity uses 98–99% pure trans Resveratrol from red grape skins.
Resveratrol alone is not enough.
Additional research on the health benefits of red wine have shown that Resveratrol by itself does not fully explain the French Paradox and indicates that other key ingredients may work in synergy with Resveratrol to increase its effectiveness. Eternity’s patent pending blend of Resveratrol plus quercetin, catechins, and other polyphenols react with an array of genes to maximize the full effects of their energetic possibilities.
It’s not what you eat, but what you absorb that matters.
Eternity’s proprietary liquid delivery system is designed to protect it through the entire digestive process and deliver its nano-sized particles into the very cells that utilize them. SISEL researchers believe holding Eternity in your mouth for 60 seconds will greatly increase its absorption and bioavailability to the cells.
22ml (¾ fl oz).of Sisel’s Eternity provides the equivalent amount Resveratrol contained in 450x 4 oz.(118ml) glasses of red wine, or in plain talk: 1574 litres of red wine
In addition to all the benefits of Resveratrol, it also re-activates the youth genes. Next week, I will discuss the SIRT genes as a “Part 2” to this week’s discussion.