Resveratrol is perhaps best known as a chemical compound found in red grapes and red wine. The longer grape juice with skins ferments, the more resveratrol it will contain.
White wine has some resveratrol, though not as much as red wine because of the fact that seeds and skins are taken out early in the process of making white wine.
But many other plants also contain resveratrol. It is found in other fruits like blueberries, cranberries, mulberries and raspberries.
It is found in eucalyptus, peanuts, pistachios and spruce. Resveratrol can also be derived by a chemical synthesis from Japanese knotweed to be sold as a nutritional supplement.
Resveratrol is a stilbene-type phytoalexin which a plant will naturally produce in order to protect itself from such pathogens as bacteria and fungi.
Past research of resveratrol has involved animals, insects like round worms and fruit flies, and yeast up until very recently.
New research from the University at Buffalo that has been done with human beings suggests that resveratrol may suppress inflammation.
Information about this study has appeared on the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism website, and will be appearing in their print journal.
Researchers gave half of their 20 participants a natural supplement that had 40 milligrams of resveratrol in it. The other participants were given placebos instead. The subjects took the pills once a day for six weeks and their blood was tested at intervals during this time period.
Those who had taken resveratrol showed signs of suppression of molecules that cause inflammation. Those on placebo saw no such change.
Resveratrol seems to have a great deal to offer to us. It hinders the production of free radicals. Free radicals create oxidative stress and cause proinflammatory factors to enter the blood stream. This can cause damage to the lining of the blood vessels.
Resveratrol may suppress an inflammatory protein tumor necrosis factor along with other substances that cause inflammation to blood vessels. It may reduce insulin resistance.