Often mentioned French paradox implies quite abundant and oily French food, but at the same time significantly lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases compared to other countries, especially USA.
It all began in 1990. when the American journalist Edward Dolnick first time publicly announced the idea of prof. Dr. Jacques Richard about the Mediterranean diet, which protects human health and the important role of red wine that is traditionally consumed with meals in the Mediterranean countries, particularly in France.
After that, many scientists began to study the Mediterranean diet and food ingredients that could explain this phenomenon.
And then resveratrol was discovered, a substance in red wine that protects the grapes from mildew.
It is produced in large quantities if the year is wet, so no mold attacks the grapes, and less of resveratrol is created if the year is dry and there is no mold.
Analysis of resveratrol in red wine is pretty expensive, which is the reason why wines still don't have a declaration of containing the resveratrol.
The effect of resveratrol
Resveratrol is one of the most powerful antioxidants, and has a number of beneficial effects on health: prevents paralysis of the heart muscle, slows blood clotting, prevents the formation of aggregates (plaques) in brain and blood vessels, is beneficial in inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes.
The mechanism of action of resveratrol is not completely explained. Some researches have challenged the use of resveratrol in connection with the extension of the life lines of animals tested.
It is assumed that one way might be the impact on the function of mitochondria, the protection of cell membranes and cellular structures from oxidation.
Protecting the heart and blood vessels
The most important application of resveratrol is related to the protection of blood vessels and heart.
Specifically, resveratrol prevents / restricts cardiac fibrosis - a fairly common cause of death. It is a condition caused by increased pressure, and consists of a rapid activation of cells that secrete collagen and eventually causing thickening of the heart muscle.
In such circumstances, the heart pumps harder and that results with problems that can lead to death. This critical research has been carried on at Univesity of Luton Aggregates Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine under the direction of prof. Dr. Gary Meszaros, whose findings were published in the American Journal of Heart and Circulatory Physiology.
Resveratrol has a beneficial effect on the brain. In November 2008, was released the conclusion of research conducted on experimental animals at Cornell University.
The researchers noted that daily intake of a supplement with resveratrol caused a significant reduction of plaque in the brains of animals (from 48% to 90%), which normally contributes to the occurrence of neurological diseases.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Resveratrol reduces the signs and manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), including diarrhea and rectal bleeding, as shown by recent studies.
Scientists gave to a group of mice 20 mg/kg of food, and to another group a placebo. The mice given resveratrol had less and milder manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease than mice in the comparison group - they maintained weight easier, and the incidence of diarrhea and rectal bleeding was significantly reduced.
While in the group without resveratrol more than 40% of mice died, even one single death was not recorded in the group treated with resveratrol.
Protecting the lungs of smokers
In December 2007, the work of Rahman at the University of Rochester demonstrated that resveratrol increases the inside-cellular levels of glutathione in the cells of the lungs, making it a great ally and protector of all smokers, and those who already have lung damage or cancer. (Koda Rajendrasozhan, Cait, Yang, Megson, Rahman, American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 294)
Resveratrol significantly increases the levels of natural testosterone, which will be appealing to many men.
By its structure resveratrol is similar to phytoestrogens, and concerning its estrogen-like effects, some researchers do not recommend resveratrol for women who take oral contraceptives, women who wish to become pregnant, pregnant women and children under 18 years of age.
Gordon K. is the author of several health&beauty related articles and reviews of nutritional and weight loss products such as Garcinia Cambogia extract.