Resveratrol: A Natural Miracle or Just Another Myth?
The market today offers a wide range of natural supplements that are supposed to deliver miraculous results without the risks connected to the usage of pharmaceutical products. Resveratrol is the new ‘it’ thing on this market.
Resveratrol is a natural phenol that is mostly found in the skin of certain types of red grapes. Various reports attribute anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic qualities to the natural extract. It is also
supposed to significantly improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system.
These claims sound great but has resveratrol been studied adequately for human usage? Do any clinical tests prove that resveratrol is actually connected to specific health benefits?
The First Set of Tests
Resveratrol supplement production has started only recently, which means that the long-term health benefits and risks connected to the natural extract are yet to be discovered.
A first series of clinical tests has already been carried out. These studies, however, involve solely animals. The tests do show that resveratrol has healing and disease prevention qualities.
Animal tests show that resveratrol has the power to prevent the aggregation of platelets. The platelets are cell fragments found in the blood that are responsible for the formation of clots. When platelets aggregate inside the blood vessels, they can form dangerous clots that can cause blockages.
The anti-cancer qualities were studied through test-tube research. The experiment involved human cancer cells. Scientists found out that resveratrol has the power to inhibit the proliferation of certain types of cancer cells. Additionally, it affects angiogenesis or the formation of blood vessels. Tumors need blood to grow and the manner in which resveratrol affects angiogenesis can be beneficial for the development of cancer medications.
Human Clinical Trials?
Several clinical trials involving humans are currently underway. So far, the information connected to the actual benefits of resveratrol is ambiguous. Some publications confirm its nearly miraculous qualities, while others refute the claims about exceptional health benefits.
An interesting study was carried out in the Netherlands and Switzerland and the results were published in Cell Metabolism journal. Scientists decided to explore how resveratrol would affect obese individuals.
The study involved 150 obese men who took resveratrol supplements on a daily basis for 30 days. No exercise or diet plan changes accompanied the taking of resveratrol. The results show that the men experienced a metabolic rate similar to that of individuals on a diet. Additionally, fat deposits in certain organs like the liver decreased.
Another clinical trial involving humans was presented during the annual scientific meeting of the American Diabetes Association.
The study was carried out at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Diabetes Clinical Trials Unit. It involved 10 pre-diabetic men, who received resveratrol supplements for a month. Researchers found out that the men had improved insulin resistance in the end of the clinical trial. Additionally, all the men had lowered post-meal glucose. Both of these results suggest that resveratrol could assist the treatment of people with Type 2 Diabetes or of individuals that are at high risk.
Resveratrol and the associated resveratrol side effects are yet to be studied completely. Lab tests and the few trials presented so far show that the natural extract has the power to affect specific medical conditions. Future studies will determine the right doses and the additional possible applications of resveratrol.
It has been discovered that resveratrol can extent the lifespan of test subjects by up to 30% - and this was when the animals were already middle-aged!