New scientific research points to resveratrol as a tool to help repair damaged heart tissue after a heart attack.
Dipak Das, co-author and research professor at the University of Connecticut’s Cardiovascular Research Center, was recently cited in the Journal of Molecular Medicine in an exciting new find on Resveratrol. The researchers mimicked the effects of a heart attack by essentially puncturing the hearts of mice, then stitching them up. Stem cells were then directly injected into the animals’ hearts in an attempt to determine if the cells would regenerate heart tissue and heal the wound.
Resveratrol Supplementation Improved Healing of Infarcted Heart Tissue
One test group was given resveratrol supplements for two weeks. The researchers found that the presence of the antioxidant actually reduced stress on the wound site. As a result, resveratrol appeared to provide favorable conditions for the wounds to heal. Paired with the stem cells, “cardiac function was significantly improved,” the text said. The stem cells survived working alone on the wounds for a period of seven days, whereas with the aid of resveratrol, they continued to thrive for a period of 28 days.
“Our results demonstrate that resveratrol maintained a reduced tissue environment …[and] enhancement of the cardiac regeneration of the adult cardiac stem cells … increased cell survival and differentiation leading to cardiac function,” the study maintained. While more study is still needed, there is hope that heart attach survivors could enjoy the benefits of resveratrol treatments in the future.
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, Tosca L. Zern, Richard J. Wood, Christine Greene, and Kristy L. West of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT and Yanzhu Liu, Dimple Aggarwal, Neil S. Shachter, and Maria Luz Fernandez of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University in New York, NY, on the effect of grape polyphenols on plasma, inflammation and oxidative stress in both Pre- menopausal and Post-menopausal women.
Resveratrol and Cholesterol
To evaluate the effects of grape polyphenols on plasma lipids, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress, a sample of 24 pre-menopausal and 20 post-menopausal women were randomly assigned to consume grape powder or a placebo for 4 weeks. The grape powder was mostly carbohydrates, but was rich in polyphenols such as, flavans, anthocyanins, quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, and resveratrol.
Total cholesterol, total triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, are three of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). The loss of estrogen has a deep effect increasing plasma lipids and apolipoproteins associated with CHD.
Resveratrol lowers LDL “Bad” Cholesterol
Plasma triglyceride concentrations, plasma LDL cholesterol and apolipoproteins were reduced after the intake of grape powder. Results were more marked in pre-menopausal women (15%), than in post-menopausal women (6%). Bad cholesterol oxidation was not modified by the treatment. However, whole-body was significantly reduced after the intake of the resveratrol supplement. The grape supplement also decreased the levels of plasma tumor necrosis which plays a major role in the inflammation process.
In a 2001 report made by researchers at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, and the University of Illinois Cancer Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago K.P.L. Bhat, J.W. Kosmeder II, and J.M. Pezzuto endeavored to summarize the health benefits of the naturally occurring polyphenol resveratrol.
Resveratrol naturally occurs in various plant-derived foods and beverages, such as grapes, peanuts, white and red wine, raw cranberry juice, and so forth. Its health benefits have been observed in the form of cancer prevention and prevention of heart disease among other things.
Antioxidant Benefits of Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a known antioxidant and its ability to promote nitric oxide production is well documented. It has also been shown to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which makes it highly beneficial as a cardiopreventative agent due to the fact that it protects against plaque build up in the arteries.
The estrogenic effect of resveratrol supplements make it a valuable instrument in the fight against breast cancer as it transfects breast cancer cells.
Likely, researchers have only scratched the surface of the many health benefits resveratrol has. Additional studies will allow researchers to not only identify the exact mechanisms by which resveratrol positively impacts so many diseases, but also identify additional health issues that can be helped by resveratrol.
In 2002, researchers from the Johannes Guttenberg University in Mainz, Germany set out to study the effects of resveratrol on Nitric Oxide Synthase (NAS) to determine its value in the fight against heart disease.
Thomas Wallerath, Ph.D., Goran Deckert, Thomas Ternes, Ph.D., Henrik Anderson, Huige Li, MD, Klaus Witte, MD, and Ulrich Forstermann, MD, Ph.D. conducted the study.
Resveratrol mimics estrogen’s vascular protective behavior
Estrogens have been known to increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), thus protecting the walls of the blood vessels. Since red wine resveratrol is similar in structure to estrogen, it can induce this vascular protective behavior.
This study tested the effects of resveratrol on human endothelial cells.
Testing Resveratrol’s Influence on Vascular Cells
The researchers used human umbilical vein to test resveratrol’s effect on endothelial cells. Cells were incubated for 12 to 72 hours with resveratrol or were left untreated (as in the case of the control). The team then monitored things such as eNOS mRNA, phytoestrogens, eNOS activity, etc.
Results: Resveratrol an effective preventative agent for heart and cardiovascular disease
Resveratrol increase the activity of the eNOS promoter. The eNOS mRNA was thus stabilized by the resveratrol keeping the vascular cells healthy. This discovery shows that resveratrol supplements can be used effectively as a preventative agent for heart and cardiovascular diseases by maintaining vascular cell health.
A year 2000 report coordinated by Jiangang, Zou, Yuanzhu Huang, Qi Chen, Enhui Wei, Keijiang Cao, and Joseph M. Wu investigated the effects of resveratrol on low density proteins (LDL) also known as the “bad cholesterol.” This team of researchers tested resveratrol on LDLs using two different oxidation systems.
LDLs were isolated from the plasma of two groups of volunteers. Half of these volunteers’ LDLs were oxidized using Cu(2)-induced oxidation and the other half were oxidized with an Azo compound. In both cases, resveratrol doses were added at different concentrations. Any modifications to their LDL levels resulting from the resveratrol dosage were then monitored.
Effects of Resveratrol on LDLs
The LDLs that were oxidized using Cu(2) experienced a 70.5% reduction in TBARS (Thiobarbituric Acid). Higher concentrations had a greater effect on reduction of TBARS than lower doses did.
In these samples, relative electrophoretic mobility (REM) was reduced by 42.3% and macrophage (white blood cell) degradation by 65.7%.
Use of the LDLs oxidized by the Azo compound were intended to further validate the findings in the Cu(2) oxidized LDLs.
Conclusions of Resveratrol Study
The results of this study show that red wine esveratrol has a significant impact on the bad cholesterol lipoproteins that cause plaque build up in arteries.
The use of resveratrol interrupted known reactors in LDLs that cause the build up of plaque and eventual heart disease. Thus, resveratrol is a viable prevention mechanism for heart disease.
Doctors Usha R. Pendurthi, J. Todd Williams, and L. Vijaya Mohan Rao from the Departments of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at The University of Texas Health Center in Tyler, Texas published a study in 1998 stating that resveratrol, found in red wine, suppresses tissue factor expression in vascular cells.
Resveratrol and coronary heart disease
Several studies suggest that coronary heart disease deaths are lowered by moderate consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine. Resveratrol is produced in grapes and a variety of other plants in response to fungal infections or other types of stress. Resveratrol is found in high concentrations in grape skins, and therefore, most of the red wines contain significant amounts of resveratrol.
Recent studies in which humans consumed resveratrol-enriched grape juice showed that trans-resveratrol could be absorbed from grape juice in biologically active amounts and in amounts that are likely to cause a reduced risk of clogged arteries and heart disease.
Many studies suggest that moderate consumption of red wine may be more effective than other alcoholic beverages in decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease death. Resveratrol has been thought to be responsible for cardiovascular benefits associated with wine consumption. Resveratrol is shown to have antioxidant and anti-platelet activities.
Conclusion: Resveratrol reduces the risk of clogged arteries and cardiovascular disease
In this study, the doctors examined the effect of resveratrol supplements on induction of tissue factor expression, a process that begins the blood clotting processes. The data shows that resveratrol suppresses the expression of tissue factor in vascular cells.
Resveratrol has been reported to have cancer prevention capabilities. The structural similarities between red wine resveratrol and a synthetic estrogen prompted Drs. Barry D. Gehm, Joanne M. McAndrews, Pei-Yu Chen, and J. Larry Jameson to study how resveratrol could affect the body’s estrogen receptor. In 1997, the doctors released a study from the Division of Endocrinology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, IL.
The focus of this experiment was to investigate whether resveratro supplements could mimic the body’s estrogenic activity, which is known to produce a heart-protective benefit. Resveratrol did mimic estrogenic activity at concentrations that are needed to produce other benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol was proven to be a ‘phytoestrogen’, which is a naturally occurring plant compound that has beneficial properties to fight cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis. Overall, resveratrol’s anti-cancer and anti-blood clotting activities show therapeutic promise.
Resveratrol and Red Wine for Heart Disease Prevention
This study shows that a few glasses of red wine may supply a sufficient amount of resveratrol. This also suggests that daily consumption of some red wines might produce significant concentrations of resveratro doses in the bloodstream. Resveratrol occurs naturally in grapes and other medicinal plants. In plants, resveratrol protects against fungal infections. Red wine has large amounts of resveratrol because resveratrol has high concentrations in grape skins. Because of the levels of resveratrol in red wine, moderate consumption of red wine may reduce the risk of heart disease. High concentrations of resveratrol without alcohol or calories may also be found in nutritional supplements.
In 1995, Doctors Cecil R. Pace-Asciak, Susan Hahn, Eleftherios P. Diamandis, George Soleas, and David M. Goldberg published a study from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. There is much evidence that suggests that red wine may be more effective than other alcoholic beverages in decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease death.
Polyphenol Resveratrol and its Effect on Blood Clots
Red wines are rich in phenolic compounds, like resveratrol, and may explain the protective qualities of red wine. This experiment studied the benefits of resveratrol on human blood platelet clotting. The effects were compared with other wine phenolics and anti-oxidants. Trans-resveratrol was proven to reduce toxin induced blood platelet clotting. This means that trans-resveratrol reduced the risk or creation of harmful blood clots in laboratory experiments.
In this study, red wines with the alcohol content removed also reduced blood clotting, and its activity was comparable to trans-resveratrol’s concentrations in this experiment. The doctors noted that these results are consistent with the idea that trans-resveratrol may contribute to the protective role of red wine against coronary heart disease and artery clogging.