Sometimes, it feels as if we're constantly bombarded with advertisements about the newest trendy supplement that promises to cure all our problems, clear our skin, and give us the energy to run around a football field three times.
It's only natural for us to have doubts when another supplement appears out of the blue, let alone one we've never even heard of before. How do we decide whether it's worth a shot?
Once we know all the facts, we can weigh up the pros, cons, and general costs before deciding if we should go for it.
Today, we'll explain what resveratrol is, where it comes from, its benefits, and how to use it. We'll also let you in on the side effects of the supplement so you're prepared for everything. Knowledge is power, right?
If you're interested in learning about whether you should include resveratrol in your skincare routine, read on.
Resveratrol belongs to a group of compounds called polyphenols' stilbenoids. This compound is found in over 70 plant species and natural products such as grapes, peanuts, and berries. The skin of red grapes, in particular, is a potent source of resveratrol, and it contains the highest levels of the compound known to date.
Its popularity derives from the fact that, as a compound, it acts as a powerful antioxidant that can benefit our bodies in many different ways.
One of its many functions is to battle pathogens, different types of bacteria, and fungi. Some people claim it can be used in both the treatment and prevention of cancer, but more on that later.
The good news is that - yes, the skin of the grape is included in the fermentation process of wine, so wine is considered a rich source of resveratrol. This is why so many studies informing us all about the health benefits of red wine have emerged, especially regarding cardiovascular health and low cholesterol.
Now that you know what resveratrol is, let's see how it works once it's inside our bodies.
Since it's an antioxidant, it has a protective function. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can cause all kinds of issues and damage, ranging from raising inflammation levels to forming cancer cells. They also upset our collagen production, leading to premature skin aging.
Resveratrol also protects our DNA, which is prone to being harmed by free radical molecules. It's safe to conclude that antioxidants help our bodies on multiple levels. Without a proper balance between antioxidants and free radicals in our bodies, we'd be in a lot of trouble.
There are quite a few benefits that come with regular supplementation with resveratrol. Some are related to our skin, while others are related to various bodily functions and systems. Here are some exciting benefits you can potentially experience if you add resveratrol to your list of supplements.
In addition to its health benefits, resveratrol can provide many skin benefits as well. It contains potent antioxidants and anti-aging properties crucial for healthy skin. Antioxidants can prevent free radical damage, keeping the skin firm and plump. It can even potentially repair sun damage.
Collagen is necessary for preserving youthful skin, but its levels get lower as we age. One of the ways resveratrol can help is by keeping collagen levels high. It's safe to say that resveratrol can provide as many benefits as retinol regarding anti-aging properties.
One of the benefits documented in this particular study is resveratrol's ability to shift the levels of blood fats and create a healthier balance. The mice were reported to have lowered their starting weight as well as their cholesterol levels once the research came to an end.
Cholesterol is also linked to low levels of antioxidants, so it's no surprise that resveratrol is reported to decrease LDL cholesterol and boost antioxidant production.
Insulin sensitivity refers to the body's ability to respond properly to insulin. If your body is highly sensitive to insulin, glucose will be used more effectively.
There are a couple of ways you can increase your sensitivity to insulin, such as making certain lifestyle changes like a diet shift and including more exercise. However, there's also a chance that resveratrol can provide the same benefits through supplementation.
It's been shown that resveratrol can benefit those who have diabetes by stopping certain enzymes from turning glucose into sorbitol. A high amount of sorbitol can cause oxidative stress, which, as we've mentioned, damages the body.
Some scientists believe that resveratrol has the power to stop cancer from spreading. It shifts the hormones that change the gene expression in the cells responsible for spreading the cancer in the body.
There aren't many studies on the topic, and this conclusion certainly needs more research to back it up. However, the consensus is that there is no harm in adding more antioxidants to your diet.
What's more important than a functioning brain?
If you're a fan of wine, get ready to be pleasantly surprised. The occasional glass of alcohol can protect and optimize your brainpower. Who would've thought?
Since it's a potent antioxidant, this claim is unsurprising to those doing the research. Resveratrol has been shown to protect brain cells from any damage and keep the brain healthy in the long run.
Like the cancer claim, more research must be done on the topic for a more cohesive conclusion.
If you're interested in what resveratrol offers, there are three ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to boost resveratrol levels is by consuming more food rich in this compound. The abovementioned sources of resveratrol, such as grapes and berries, are a good starting point, but there are many more sources to choose from, so don't be alarmed if you don't like these.
Red wine is one of the tastiest options out there, and it's one of the most potent sources of resveratrol. What are you waiting for? Go and have a glass or two!
Don't like alcohol? No worries. Red grape juice is also an option. Although there are more antioxidants in wine than in juice, it's still a powerful source of resveratrol, the average dose ranging from o.5 mg per liter.
Peanut butter is also a delicious way of including more resveratrol. The best part is if you don't like the taste of it, there are ways around it, such as including it in your morning smoothie. That way, you won't even taste it, but you'll experience all the benefits.
Cocoa powder is a surprising source of resveratrol. But we shouldn't equate chocolate high in sugar with cocoa powder. Real cocoa powder is high in antioxidants and is extremely good for us. You can take this as a cue to treat yourself to some dark chocolate today. If you pair it with red wine, you will double the amount of antioxidants you consume. Happy indulging!
Many companies include resveratrol in their skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging benefits. Since it's proven to fight free radical damage and help with a myriad of skin issues such as uneven skin texture, redness, wrinkles and fine lines, and dull complexion, it's often used in serums, creams, masks, and even moisturizers. In addition, it'll boost skin firmness and slow down the aging process.
This study suggests that using topical resveratrol and vitamin E in your nighttime skin routine can rejuvenate skin. If you choose to use resveratrol in skin care, combine it with a good skincare routine containing important substances like hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and more.
Another easy way to get more resveratrol in your diet is by supplementing it. The dosing will depend on factors such as your age and medical history, so you must consult a professional if you're interested in supplementation.
It's important to mention that resveratrol supplements shouldn't be your first go-to. If you're interested in all the benefits this particular antioxidant offers, start by including more resveratrol-rich food in your diet (you won't need much convincing in this regard).
If you choose to supplement, pick a brand carefully and read the instructions thoroughly.
We can't mention the benefits without putting a disclaimer regarding the side effects you can potentially experience by supplementing with resveratrol.
Resveratrol is considered safe for most people if taken in moderation through food. When supplementing, follow the recommended dosage and instructions carefully. Consuming it through food during pregnancy and breastfeeding is deemed safe, alcohol excluded.
If you're suffering from a medical condition, consult your doctor about the possible interactions with the supplement to be safe.
If you're using it topically, try a patch test, no matter your skin type.
Resveratrol provides many benefits, especially regarding fighting free radicals and improving cardiovascular health. In addition, it can better skin health, improve the appearance of aging skin, and more.
More research needs to be done on the topic for a definite answer regarding its potential benefits, but it's certainly worth a try.
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.