Category Archives: Resveratrol

Too much of a good thing? Antioxidants and the cardiovascular benefits of exercise.

FoodFacts.com has always included information in our blog posts about the benefits of the antioxidants found in natural, fresh fruits and vegetables. There have been so many good things to tell our community about the benefits of these compounds. The antioxidant resveratrol has made news in the last year for the possibility of its anti-aging properties. It’s found in red wine, red grapes, as well as peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Resveratrol has been associated with the protection of the heart and circulatory system, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as reducing the risk of certain cancers. All great news!

But now, new research at The University of Copenhagen surprisingly suggests that eating a diet rich in antioxidants may actually counteract many of the health benefits of exercise, including reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.

In contrast to earlier studies in animals in which resveratrol improved the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, this study in humans has provided surprising and strong evidence that in older men, resveratrol has the opposite effect.

While antioxidants like resveratrol have plenty of positive effects on our health, this information seems to point to the idea that some degree of oxidant stress might be necessary for the body to work correctly. So too much of this good thing might actually be detrimental to our health.

The study comes out of the University of Copenhagen. Researchers studied 27 healthy, physically inactive men who were about 65 years of age for 8 weeks. During the study period, all of the men performed high-intensity exercise training. Half of the group received 250 mg of resveratrol daily, while the other half received a placebo. The study was double-blinded so that neither the subjects nor the scientists knew which participant received the antioxidant or the placebo.

Researchers found that the exercise training undertaken by all the participants was very effective at improving their cardiovascular health. They did discover, however that resveratrol detracted from the positive effects of the training in areas including blood pressure and oxygen uptake, among others. Scientists were surprised to find that resveratrol in older men appeared to lessen the benefits of exercise on heart health. The results contract the findings from previous animal studies. The need for larger, more extensive studies on varied age groups was noted in order to confirm the results obtained. In addition, it was noted that the resveratrol supplementation provided in this study was greater than the amounts obtained through natural food sources.

FoodFacts.com looks forward to further research regarding the effects of antioxidants on our health. This is important information regarding how these compounds work in our bodies to promote our well-being. Perhaps the “too much of a good thing” concept for resveratrol and other antioxidant compounds is related to supplementation, as opposed to obtaining these compounds through natural food sources. A balanced diet, rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide us with the nutrition our bodies need to remain healthy and strong throughout our lifetimes.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722071955.htm

Good news for our ears … red wine and red grapes can protect us from hearing loss

FoodFacts.com has been following recent research that’s pointed out the health benefits of red wine. In moderation, red wine and certain foods which contain a substance called resveratrol seem to offer various protections for our overall health.

Today we read some more news coming out of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan offering more information on resveratrol’s possible connection to protecting the body from hearing loss and cognitive decline.

Researchers conducted a laboratory experiment on rats. They wanted to determine whether the rodents would experience the effects of noise-induced hearing loss if they consumer resveratrol prior to extended periods of listening to loud noises. Specifically, the study focused on how resveratrol influences bioinflammation. That’s the body’s response to injuries. It’s also suspected of being the cause of a variety of different health problems, like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and aging – as well as hearing loss. Resveratrol seems to have a protective effect on the inflammatory process.

The study was designed to measure the effect of a substance called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), a protein that is important in the inflammatory process in the body. What they discovered is that COX-2 increases after a certain amount of overexposure to excessive noise. Additionally, it was found that resveratrol had a significant effect on the inhibition of that increase. The rats who had consumed the resveratrol had less evidence of noise-induced hearing loss.

Almost 20% of the U.S. population has some hearing loss. As they age, that loss becomes progressively worse. Increasingly, our military suffers from noise-induced hearing difficulties. More than 12% of the soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan show significant hearing problems upon their arrival home.

Resveratrol occurs naturally in red grapes. It is found in its largest concentrations in red wine. It is also present in white wine and white grapes, but is not has heavily concentrated. It’s also worth noting that blueberries, peanuts and dark chocolate also contain resveratrol.

It’s well known that inflammation is a cause of and has influence on a variety of health conditions. FoodFacts.com is encouraged by the recent research that’s focusing on how resveratrol that naturally occurs in real food can influence inflammation in the body. Red wine, in moderation, seems to have positive health effects – as do the many other food choices that contain this powerful substance.

You can read more about this fascinating study here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/256802.php