• Grape Skin
You may have heard of the "French paradox." The French diet is very high in saturated fat and cholesterol (just think of
pate de fois gras
and croissants), yet France has one of the world's lowest rates of heart disease. One theory for this apparent discrepancy is that another major player in the French diet—red wine—protects the arteries of the heart.
(Another possibility, perhaps even more likely, is that cutting down on saturated fat is less helpful than previously thought. See the
Resveratrol is a natural
found in red wine. Antioxidants protect cells in the body from damage by free radicals, naturally occurring but harmful substances that are thought to play a role in
Resveratrol is not an essential nutrient. It is found in red wine as well as in red grape skins and seeds and purple grape juice. Peanuts also contain a small amount of resveratrol. Resveratrol supplements are available as well.
Because there haven't been any clinical studies, the optimal therapeutic dosage hasn't been established for resveratrol. Based on animal studies, a reasonable therapeutic dosage might be about 500 mg daily.
Very preliminary evidence, such as the results of
test tube studies
suggests that resveratrol may help prevent
Resveratrol has a chemical structure similar to that of the synthetic estrogenic hormone diethylstilbestrol and it has estrogenic effects. According to one study, it might stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. 15
11. Subbaramaiah K, Chung WJ, Michaluart P, et al. Resveratrol inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 transcription and activity in phorbol ester-treated human mammary epithelial cells. J Biol Chem . 1998;273:21875-21882..
12. Clement MV, Hirpara JL, Chawdhury SH, et al. Chemopreventive agent resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes, triggers CD95 signaling-dependent apoptosis in human tumor cells. Blood . 1998;92:996-1002.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Medical Review Board
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