The next time you raise a glass of resveratrol-rich red wine, toast to your health and longevity! For decades, medical researchers have looked at red wine for its potential anti-ageing benefits and prevention of age-related diseases which will ultimately result in an increased lifespan. In particular, the focus has been on a molecule called resveratrol and how it interacts with an enzyme known as SIRT1.


Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that is found in certain plants such as the skin of red grapes (grape skins are typically used in the production of red wine), berries and peanuts. It occurs naturally in these plants in response to stress, attack by bacteria or fungi, or ultraviolent radiation. Growing evidence has shown that resveratrol boosts the activity of the SIRT1 gene. This protects the body from disease by revving up the mitochondria, a kind of cellular battery that runs down as we age. By recharging these batteries, SIRT1 can have profound properties on health by protecting against the harmful effects of obesity and the diseases of ageing.


Current research suggests that resveratrol might help protect against a number of age-related problems:


* Heart disease – Resveratrol helps reduce inflammation, prevent oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) and makes it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

* Cancer – Resveratrol is thought to limit the spread of cancer cells and trigger the process of cancer cell death (apoptosis).

* Alzheimer’s disease – Resveratrol may help protect nerve cells from damage and offset the effects of a protein that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It also allows for increased blood flow to the brain when performing specific tasks.

* Type 2 Diabetes – Resveratrol helps prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the blood sugar-lowering hormone, insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.

* Obesity - Resveratrol may perk up the metabolic profiles of obese individuals altering the production of specific compounds from human fat cells.


Since there are few studies conducted on resveratrol in humans, the adverse effects of resveratrol on people over the long-term are unknown. So far, studies have not discovered any severe side effects, even when resveratrol is taken in large doses. However resveratrol supplements might interact with blood thinners such as warfarin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, by increasing the risk of bleeding.


To get the amount of resveratrol you need for the beneficial anti-ageing effects, you'd need to have large amounts from red wine that you'd probably kill off your liver and be drunk most of the time. So why not try these resveratrol supplements from Your Chemist Shop – Bioglan Resveratox, Ethical Nutrients Resveratrol Age Defence, Swisse Professional Age Protect, Naturopathica Resveratrol Max, Lifestream Resveratrol.