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Resveratrol Synergy: Cardiovascular Protection and Capillary Strength


[Secret of Red Wine | Phytoestrogens Shine | Cardiovascular Protection]
[A Synergistic Supporting Cast | Usage and Safety | References]

Photo of Grape plant.

Resveratrol: Another Secret of Red Wine

Although ethanol (alcohol) from any source in small amounts is known to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the "good" cholesterol) levels, the preponderance of the heart-protective effect of wine comes from the pigments found in the skin of dark grapes. Red wine, depending upon processing, tends to be particularly rich in such pigments, which are liberated during fermentation. One of the most important of the compounds liberated from the grape skins is resveratrol (3,4,5-trihydroxystilbene), which is mentioned routinely in the scientific literature. It originally was researched by the Japanese as a weight-loss product that clears fats from the liver. The compound is formed in the leaves and skins of grapes to combat disease, especially fungal attack. Treatment with fungicides dramatically reduces resveratrol production by the grape itself, and treatment of wines to reduce the astringent tannin content, as is done with much commercially-produced wine at large vintners, also eliminates most of the protective effect.

Populations which regularly consume red wine are noted for longevity and general good health. This health-promoting effect is sometimes referred to as the "French Paradox" because the French consume large amounts of saturated fats and yet exhibit low rates of heart disease. In fact, red wine consumption and superior health is true for much of Mediterranean Europe. Along with resveritrol, red wine also contains catechins, anthocyanins (from the skin) and proanthocyanins (from the grape seeds). Therefore, synergy found in Jarrow FORMULAS® Resveratrol Synergy is a natural one.

Jarrow FORMULAS® has used especially rich sources of resveratrol, catechins, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins to create a concentrated supplement designed to provide the cardiovascular and capillary protection found with red wine. Resveratrol is extracted from the Chinese herb Huzhang (Polygonum cuspidatum, "tiger cane") root, catechins are derived from green tea extract, anthocyanins from grape skin extract, and proanthocyanins from grape seed extract. To these are added vitamin C, the compound used by the body to support the production of collagen and the structures made from it. All of these compounds are powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers, as well.

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Phytoestrogens Shine

Classified as a phytoestrogen, rezveritrol significantly enhances endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation in response to acetylcholine in some animal models. Similarly, this phenolic compound influences bone strength in these models. Phytoestrogens exhibit numerous other beneficial physiological effects.

Just as interesting is the inhibitory impact of resveratrol upon a number of environmental toxins. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands are environmental contaminants found at high levels in cigarette smoke. They also are present in many other sources of air pollution. The prototypical compound is known as dioxin. There is an increasing body of knowledge which links cigarette smoke to osteoporosis and to periodontal disease, although the direct effects of smoke-associated aryl hydrocarbons on bone are not well understood. Resveratrol is a pure antagonist to aryl hydrocarbons and this suggests that the compound may prove to be protective against certain classes of toxins which are now common in the environment.

Cardiovascular Protection

As already noted, population studies suggest that the consumption of wine, particularly of red wine, promotes cardiovascular health. The cardioprotective effect is normally attributed to antioxidants present in the polyphenolic fraction of red wine. Grapes contain a variety of antioxidants, including resveratrol, catechins, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins. Investigations have shown that all of these red wine polyphenolic antioxidants play roles in cardioprotection.

A great deal of research has gone into finding the mechanisms by which polyphenolic compounds protect the cardiovascular system. At least in part, such protection may be attributed to their ability to directly scavenge peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals and to reduce oxidative stress. These actions, among other things, protect low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol, from damage. It should be emphasized that these compounds work by different mechanisms and therefore, arguably work best in combination. In published research, resveratrol was more effective than flavonoids as a chelator of copper ions - generators of free radical - and less effective as a free-radical scavenger than some of the other grape components. Besides the inhibition of LDL oxidation (a contributor to cardiovascular disease), exposure to wine/resveritrol appears to modulate vascular cell functions and to suppress excessive platelet aggregation, i.e., suppresses factors which lead to excessive clotting tendencies in the blood.

Very recent research into cardiovascular health has suggested yet another culprit: inflammation, perhaps from bacterial attack. Surprisingly, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins also can act as antibacterial and antiviral agents.

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A Synergistic Supporting Cast

One of the primary benefits of resveratrol and proanthocyanins is the protection of vitamin C against premature oxidation, especially by copper and other metal ions found in the blood and tissues. Therefore, it makes good sense to include vitamin C along with its protectors. Broader protection comes from the inclusion of a concentrated green tea extract for its variety of catechins, grape skin extract for anthocyanins and grape seed extract for OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidins, 95% polyphenols). This means that five of the world’s best researched antioxidants can now be found together in one supplement . . . Jarrow Formulas Resveratrol Synergy.

Usage and Safety

As a dietary supplement, take 1 to 2 tablets per day with food or juice, or as directed by your qualified health consultant.

References

  1. Calabrese G. Nonalcoholic compounds of wine: the phytoestrogen resveratrol and moderate red wine consumption during menopause. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1999;25(2-3):111-4.
  2. Creasy LL, Swain T Structure of condensed tannins. Nature. 1965 Oct 9;208(6):151-3.
  3. De Bruyne T et al. Biological evaluation of proanthocyanidin dimers and related polyphenols. J Nat Prod 1999 Jul;62(7):954-8.
  4. Fremont L, et al. Antioxidant activity of resveratrol and alcohol-free wine polyphenols related to LDL oxidation and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Life Sci 1999;64(26):2511-21.
  5. Graham, H. N. Green Tea Composition, Consumption, and Polyphenol Chemistry. Preventive Medicine 1992, 21(3): 334-350.
  6. Gu X, et al. Capillary electrophoretic determination of resveratrol in wines. J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Aug;47(8):3223-7.
  7. Konowalchuk J, Speirs JI. Virus inactivation by grapes and wines. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1976 Dec;32(6):757-63.
  8. Mizutani K, et al. Resveratrol attenuates ovariectomy-induced hypertension and bone loss in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2000 Apr;46(2):78-83.
  9. Russo P, et al. Effects of de-alcoholated red wine and its phenolic fractions on platelet aggregation. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Feb;11(1):25-9.
  10. Sagesaka-Mitane, Y. et al. Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors in Hot Water Extract of Green Tea. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1990, 38(3): 790-793.
  11. Singh SU, et al. Inhibition of dioxin effects on bone formation in vitro by a newly described aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonist, resveratrol. J Endocrinol 2000 Oct;167(1):183-195.

Alternate resveratrol spelling: risveritrol, resvaratrol, resveratril, rezveratrol, resvaratral

Reprinted with exclusive permission of Jarrow Formulas.

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