It can be quite difficult to keep up with all the new herbal supplements that are becoming popular. Resveratrol is one of those herbal supplements that only took a very short time to rise from obscurity to popularity. But does it deserve that popularity? Is resveratrol a miracle supplement, and where does it come from?
Part of why resveratrol has been given so much attention is that it functions as an antioxidant. Normal metabolic activities in the body result in a particular type of particle known as a free radical. There are also free radicals in the environment, and can enter the body through food or some kinds of pollutants. It can take years and years for the accumulated damage done by free radicals takes an obvious form, one of the most malignant believed to be cancer. And since this process is faster when there are more free radicals present, it makes sense to try to reduce them.
And reducing them involves the use of antioxidants, which are beneficial primarily for their free radical-neutralizing powers. You are probably wondering what resveratrol has to do with any of this. Resveretrolis a naturally occurring antioxidant found in red wine that many people believe is the reason that red wine contains so many health benefits.
The range of conditions that are believed to be improved by taking resveratrol is fairly wide. From improving cardiovascular and kidney function to improving overall energy levels and joint pain to even allowing people to sleep better, the range is indeed quite wide. Since the only way to know for sure whether or not any of these benefits are real or not is to subject them to a series of experiments, the next step would be to take resveratrol into a lab and start running tests.
The current tests involving resveratrol use involve giving it to animals to see how they respond. Most of those studies are still quite early along, but the preliminary results have shown some promise. The main physical effect of resveratrol on laboratory mice so far seems to be a rise in oxygen levels in both the mitochondria and in the muscle tissue itself. The second physical effect observed was the stimulation of enzyme and protein production, which naturally gets lower and lower as we age. Scientists are so far speculating that these increases in production may help to reduce the effects of aging on the body and may play a role in the prevention of some degenerative disorders. There was even an increase in longevity observed during one study between a resveratrol-taking group of mice and a control group. Although there is a great deal of reason to be optimistic, scientists will need to do a great deal more research before anything is proven.