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Jul 8, 2010

Anti-atherogenic Effects of Resveratrol

Resveratrol, a polyphenol compound found in grapes, nuts, and berries has been believed to decrease cardiovascular disease. Many have heard of the health protective qualities of a glass of red wine, well it is due to the presence of this compound. Its effects on cardiovascular health come from its believed ability as an anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compound. Also studied, is its ability to prevent lipid oxidation, platelet aggregation, arterial vasodilation, and ability to modulate the levels of lipids in the blood.

In the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a research article was written analyzing a multitude of studies regarding the health claims of resveratrol. It looked at every possible mechanism for the effects on cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that the combination of mechanisms found in this polyphenol accounts for its ability as a cardioprotective. It reduces atherosclerotic plaque formation and prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It also prevents arterial vasodilation and influences infarct size, as well as apoptosis and angiogenesis. Furthermore, its ability to reduce oxidative stress as a strong anti-oxidant reduces free radicals and hydrogen peroxide production. It also suppresses inflammation by down regulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inflammation is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. In conclusion, there is promising evidence depicting beneficial effects of resveratrol and its health claim that it can be used in the prevention and treatment of several diseases including cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Kerry Ferguson