Larry L. Taylor asked:

You have probably heard some of the news reports about resveratrol. So, you might be wondering what exactly it is.  You may have heard of grape seed extract, red grapes, ginkgo biloba, green tea and other plants that are good for your health, as well.  But, you might be wondering “why?”. What’s so good about them?  Here are the basics.

Resveratrol- What is it?

Without getting too technical, resveratrol is a chemical produced by plants when they are being attacked by bacteria, fungus, UV radiation, insects or other pathogens.  All of the plants mentioned above, as well as others contain these chemicals. As a group they are referred to as “phytochemicals”.  In the human body, they act as antioxidants, protecting our cells in the same way that they would protect the plant.

Red Grapes Source

Resveratrol is found in the skins of red grapes and sometimes in the seeds, which has been shown to protect against cancer, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood sugar in patients with diabetes.  It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, among other things.



Grape Seed Extract and Red Wine Sources

The resveratrol-concentration becomes higher in red wines that are allowed to ferment with the skin intact.  Grape seed extract may contain some resveratrol, but its primary components are called proanthocyanidins, a different type of antioxidant, that helps to protect the cells from free radical damage.

Ginkgo biloba contains flavonoids and terpenes, which are unique phytochemicals that promote circulation and improve brain function.  Green tea contains polyphenols, specifically catechins, which are phytochemicals that have been shown to protect against heart disease and various types of cancer.

Fruits and Veggie Sources

Fruits, vegetables and botanicals of different colors contain different unique vitamins and antioxidants, which is why you see recommendations suggesting that you “eat a rainbow” every day.  Although most of us try to eat right, it is practically impossible to get all of these different nutrients, without supplementation.


Supplements – A Good Source – Choose Carefully

You could buy a number of different supplements, including resveratrol, grape seed extract, ginkgo biloba, green tea and your basic vitamins, such as A, C and E.  But, you would spend a lot of money and you probably would not get the greatest benefit.  To get the best value for your money, I choose to take a multi-nutritional supplement that contains the basic vitamins and minerals, along with amino acids, phytochemicals, herbal extracts, dietary enzymes and specialty supplements like SAM-e.

Enteric Coating

Manufacturers that provide these supplements should use an enteric coating, to prevent them from being broken down by stomach acid.  The coating protects them until they enter the lower intestine where they can pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.  SAM-e and resveratrol are particularly sensitive to stomach acid.  Buying supplements that do not have an enteric coating is a waste of money, because they never get into the bloodstream.

Some of them are too expensive and important to waste.  For example, SAM-e is needed for methylation, a cellular activity that allows your body to produce chemicals in the brain and throughout the body.  SAM-e levels naturally decrease with age.  So, the older you are, the more important that supplement is.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a little here in this article, but there’s always more to learn about resveratrol and other nutrients that protect our body’s cells from the detrimental affects of time. I expand on this in other articles. -Margaret Bell










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