One of the secrets to French longevity seems to lie in the nourishing fields of the Bordeaux countryside. Here, organic vineyards bear lush grapes that brim with Resveratrol. Until recently the key to preserving youthful radiance and health has been elusive. Clinically studies have begun unraveling some of the mystery that underlies the longer and healthier lives of the French.
Resveratrol was discovered to activate the enzyme SIRT1 in 2003 by scientists at Harvard Medical School. Recent clinical studies show that Resveratrol potentially reverses oxidative damage to cells having the ability to stimulate and activate SIRT1 enzyme. Laboratory studies reveal that reducing cell oxidation and repairing DNA damage may have a substantial impact on cellular health. Called the "longevity gene," the SIRT1 enzyme has been shown to extend life by slowing, postponing and even reversing some of the negative effects of aging.
Resveratrol provides rapid cell rejuvenation, offers antioxidant protection. Other Resveratrol research has found that it may remove plaque from the brain, thus possibly slowing Alzheimer's Disease development and lessen symptoms. Research has also found that Resveratrol may lessen the damaging effects of obesity on the body, help people lose weight by increasing the metabolic rate of cellular mitochondria, and help clear cholesterol from the arteries, which may explain its role in the "French Paradox".
Resveratrol is produced by several plants, apparently due to its antifungal properties. It is found in widely varying amounts in grapes (primarily the skins), raspberries, mulberries, in plums, peanuts, berries of Vaccinium species, including blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries, some pines, such as Scots pine and eastern white pine, and the roots and stalks of giant knotweed and Japanese knotweed, call "hu zhang" in China. Resveratrol was first isolated from an extract of the Peruvian legume, Cassia quinquangulata in 1974; however, the strength of its anti-inflammatory activity was not recognized until 1997.
The amount of Resveratrol in food varies greatly. Ordinary red wine contain between 0.2 and 5.8 mg/L, depending on the grape variety, while white wine has much less - the reason being that red wine is fermented with skins, allowing the wine to absorb the Resveratrol, whereas white wine is fermented after the skin has been removed. Fresh grape skin contains about 50 to 100 micrograms of Resveratrol per gram. In grapes, Resveratrol is found primarily in the skin and seeds. The amount found in grape skins also varies with the grape cultivar, its geographic origin, and exposure to fungal infection. The amount of fermentation time a wine spends in contact with grape skins is an important determinant of its Resveratrol content.