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Resveratrol - The Big Picture

In this article we will give you a brief overview on what Resveratrol is, how it works and the health benefits of Resveratrol. Don't worry, we will keep things brief and try not to put you to sleep with excessive biology! While this article is not the most exciting thing you will read today, it does provide a good foundation of knowledge and things will get more exciting in the next articles.

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a natural substance found in various plants and fruits. More specifically, resveratrol belongs to a group of components called phytoalexins. Phytoalexins are produced by some plants to help protect it from attacks from bacteria, fungi, insects, harsh weather - basically any type of environmental stress. In effect, Resveratrol is an antibiotic that plants produce to help protect it from infections.

For those of you who like chemical structures, here is the chemical structure of Resveratrol -

Chemical Structure of Resveratrol

Wait, I heard Resveratrol is a Polyphenol?

Okay, we told you we were going to try to keep you awake (we would hate to have your head hit your keyboard as your dream about Resveratrol) so we want to go lite on some of the terminology. However, since you may see these terms thrown around on other websites - let's give a super quick plant biology lesson...

  • Plants and Fruits are made up of stuff! The broad term for the top level components in plants and fruits are Polyphenols. There are over 10,000 different Polyphenols in the plant kingdom.
  • Because biologist love to classify things, there are groups that fall under Polyphenols. Flavonoids are a large group of components in the Polyphenol class. So, while there are thousands of different flavonoids, all flavonoids are part of the larger Polyphenol grouping.
  • You like words you can't pronounce? How about Proanthocyanidins (or oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPC) or Anthocyanins? These are things that fall under the Flavonoid group. Isn't biology fun?
We will stop there - not because the classifications end, but just because we realize your finger is probably just about to hit the close button on your browser!

Again, the exact terminology is not that important, we just want you to know some of the classifications so it is less confusing when you read about Resveratrol on other sites. If you really want to impress your friends, here is the whole deal on Resveratrol -

Resveratrol is a phytoalexin. Phytoalexins are flavonoids. All flavonoids are Polyphenols. So, Resveratrol is a phytoalexin, flavonoid and polyphenol!

Where is Resveratrol Found?

Resveratrol is found in grapes, red wine, grape juice, peanuts, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries, and other plants and fruits. While resveratrol is found in a number of different foods, it is the resveratrol content in red wine which has caught the interest of scientist.

It seems like everyday there is a new study released showing the health benefits of drinking red wine. All of this research stems from scientists desire to explain the "French Paradox".

The French have a diet very rich in cheese, sugar, coffee, nicotine, sugar and white flour. With this type of diet you would expect the French to have a very high rate of heart disease, however, the exact opposite is true. The ability of the French to consume a heart clogging diet and yet have a very low rate of heart disease has been labeled the French Paradox. It is now believed that the polyphenols (see - there is that word we just learned) in red wine are the explanation for the French Paradox. Of course, Resveratrol is a key polyphenol in red wine.

Why Should I Be Interested in Resveratrol?

Resveratrol has been shown in a number of clinical studies to have some very impressive health benefits. We will go into much more detail in our article on the Health Benefits of Resveratrol, here are some highlights...

  • Shown to prolong the lifespan of mice and other animals by up to 20%*
  • Mimics calorie restriction to provide longevity/anti-aging potential*
  • Helps promote healthy heart and cardiovascular function*
  • Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar Levels*
  • Boosts Immune System*
  • Reduces signs of aging*
  • Boosts Energy Levels and Endurance*
  • Increased Muscle Tone*
  • Promotes Healthy Sleep*
  • Maximum Antioxidant Protection*

Sounds Great - I think I'll Go Grab a Bottle of Red Wine...

Yes, have a glass of red wine (provided you are not reading this while driving or operating heavy machinery) - but if you really want to get a significant amount of Resveratrol you will need a lot more Resveratrol than is found in a few glasses of red wine. Don't worry, we will explain more on dosage later, but first you need to know about Trans-Resveratrol and his evil step brother CIS-Resveratrol - yes, we need to learn more about the Science Behind Resveratrol...

Onto the next article -

The Science Behind Resveratrol


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Copyright 2009, Power Discovery, LLC
* Please consult with a health care professional before starting any supplementation program. The information contained on this site is general in nature and PowerSupplements, LLC does not take any responsibility for any errors that may appear. PowerSupplements, LLC has made every attempt to make the information as accurate as possible, however, we do not warrant its accuracy. Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication.

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