There is one superstar that stands out among the “new phytamins“: resveratrol. It is the primary active ingredient in “red wine“ medicine. Its powerful inflammation-modulating action (it has been shown to be a 100 percent natural inhibitor of Cox-2, an extremely harmful key enzyme) is unsurpassed. Moreover, it possesses antioxidative properties seventy times stronger than those of vitamin C! On top of all that, numerous animal studies have repeatedly shown that resveratrol possesses a peculiarity that makes it the only substance shown to prolong life via simulated calorie restriction.
This active ingredient initially caused a stir worldwide when researchers were examining the so-called "French paradox": In spite of smoking and eating a diet rich in fats, the French population suffered fewer cardiac infarctions on account of their consumption of red wine. The polyphenol resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytonutrient with potent antioxidant properties. It acts directly in the mitochondria, the power plants of the cells, fighting free radicals and stimulating the body’s natural defenses against oxidation.
In general, the effects resveratrol exhibits within the human body relate to inflammation, oxidation and cellular protection. In the blood vessels, it helps protect against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and thus its dangerous accumulation on the vessel walls. This is particularly beneficial for the heart, the liver and, as this polyphenol crosses the blood-brain barrier, the brain.
Recent research suggests that it also promotes healthy cognition. Recently, this positive effect was impressively confirmed in a study which noted that resveratrol helped support healthy blood flow in the brachial artery of overweight subjects with dramatic hypertension. Since then, further scientific studies in humans have provided interesting findings almost daily: This polyphenol promotes healthy blood circulation in the brain; it encourages a mechanism of defense against heart attacks; it supports the process of apoptosis (cell death), promoting healthy cell growth.
The active plant substance resveratrol also affects the activity of platelets in human blood, similar to aspirin, thus helping to maintain healthy clotting processes. Another unique property of resveratrol has attracted major interest in anti-aging medicine: It appears to slow down the aging process of cells. This polyphenol has been shown to activate a specific longevity gene, and is the only substance which can currently be proven to prolong the lifespan of diverse organisms.
Resveratrol simulates calorie restriction (CR) and is a recognized CR mimetic. Reducing energy intake, in combination with a diet rich in whole foods, is one of the best-known and most thoroughly validated therapeutic approaches to prolonging the lifespan.
Studies have shown that calorie restriction triggers an enhanced DNA repair process inside the cell, which prolongs the lifespan of each individual cell as well as that of the organism as a whole. Since 1989, more than three thousand major publications regarding the various areas of action of this spectacular phytochemical have been released.
All of these properties make resveratrol the ultimate anti-aging substance.