Researchers from the Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, completed a unique study of resveratrol in 2004. The study was intended to determine the amount of resveratrol a human could absorb through oral dose.
Oral Doses of Resveratrol
Resveratrol has long been known to have verified positive impact on a variety of health issues, most notably prevention and suppression of various cancers and heart disease.
Scientific studies have dramatically shown the impact resveratrol (a compound naturally occurring in red wine and grapes) has on cancer cells and lipoproteins. However, the question was raised whether it was feasible that human beings could ingest and absorb enough resveratrol orally to generate the same results as produced in the laboratory. This is the question the team from the Medical University of South Carolina set out to answer.
Conclusion: Low bioavailability of resveratrol when ingested orally
It was discovered that while 70% of the resveratrol doses administered orally was absorbed, most of the resveratrol was soon metabolized and eliminated from the body via urine and feces. Only trace amounts of unchanged resveratrol were found in the bloodstream after a short period of time. These trace amounts do not have the capacity to reproduce the beneficial effects observed in laboratory settings.
Buccal delivery provides greater bioavailability
However, according to another study by Asensi M, Medina I, Ortega A, et al (2002), the most efficient way of administering resveratrol in humans appears to be buccal delivery. This group of researchers found that after keeping the trans-resveratrol compound inside the mouth for up to one minute – without swallowing – the levels of unchanged resveratrol in the bloodstream were 250 times higher to those obtained with pills. These findings make alternative delivery methods such as resveratrol melting tablets, lozenges and chewables more likely to produce the beneficial effects of resveratrol found in the laboratory.
In 2008, Jason G. Wood, Siva Lavu, and David Sinclair of the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School in Boston; Blanka Rogina and Stephen L. Helfand of the Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington; Konrad Howitz of Biomol Research Laboratories in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania; and Marc Tatar of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island conducted a study on Sirtuin activating compounds and their life extending properties on animals due to their replication of the properties of caloric restriction.
Particulars of the Study
Caloric restriction extends lifespan in numerous species. Sirtuin activating compounds (STACs) can promote the survival of human cells and extend the lifespan of yeast. Because resveratrol can significantly extend lifespan in yeast the study analyzed whether it could also extend lifespan in other animals like worms and flies.
Key Findings for Life Extention
The study demonstrated that red wine resveratrol and other Sirtuin activating compounds activate sirtuins from a species of worm (Caenorhabditis elegans) and a species of fly (Drosophila melanogaster)and extend the lifespan of these animals without reducing their ability to reproduce.
Leading up to this 1999 study, there was a great deal of literature surrounding the health benefits of resveratrol, a polyphenol naturally occurring in many foods and beverages. Its cancer preventative and heart disease preventative characteristics have made red wine resveratrol the focus of many studies. However, Calabrese intended to determine if these health benefits would extend themselves beyond cancer and heart disease and might be an influence on menopause.
Calabrese’s Findings Surrounding Resveratrol
The hypothesis of this study is based on the idea that the structure of resveratrol is so much like that of diethylstilbestrol, a drug prescribed to prevent miscarriages, that it might act as a phytoestrogen in humans.
Calabrese’s team conducted a population study, read literature on resveratrol’s effects on female reproduction, osteoporosis, and cancer, and they conducted various trials of their own.
Their findings concluded that moderate wine consumption appeared to act as a phytoestrogen, a compound in plants that simulates estrogen in humans. Resveratrol doses boosted the physiological reactions that typically accompany estrogen increases.
This activity could effectively moderate the effects and symptoms of menopause in women.
A study was released in 2002 from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and the Cancer Prevention and the Cancer Prevention and Research Center, College of Pharmacy at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
The Resveratrol Research Study
Drs. Richard M. Niles, Margaret McFarland, Mathew B. Weimer, Alka Redkar, Ya-Min Fu, and Gary G. Meadows examined the effect of resveratrol, a red wine ingredient, on the growth of two human skin cancer cell lines. The doctors found that this plant compound restricted growth and caused cell death in both skin cancer cell categories. Overall, the results suggest that the effect of resveratrol on skin cancer cells are justified and that resveratrol may be effective as a therapeutic or cancer prevention agent against skin cancer.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring plant compound found in high concentrations in red grapes, red wine, peanuts and pine. It has been found to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Resveratrol also reduces the growth of various types of tumor cells, and inhibits the creation of cancer in laboratory experiments. Studies have also shown that resveratrol benefits as a potent suppressor of tumor promotion. It has also been shown to suppress the growth of colon tumor cells, leukemia cells, breast and prostate cancer cells.