American consumers are reticent to begin using resveratrol dietary supplements because they are unfamiliar with it. Sales of other herbal products such as garlic and curcumin from turmeric spice used for a variety of ailments, milk thistle for liver disease, Echinacea for the common cold and saw palmetto for prostate enlargement soar over resveratrol, which isn't even in the top 100 selling herbal products.
Many consumers feel they need permission from their doctor to use resveratrol while they have no hesitation to use the above-mentioned herbs even though resveratrol has not been reported to produce serious side effects since it was widely publicized over a decade ago.
The shame is that modern medicine will not put resveratrol to the test in controlled human studies. The very scientific impetus behind resveratrol was as a red wine molecule that may be responsible for the French paradox as described by French physician Serge Renaud in the early 1990s. The French paradox is the fact the wine-drinking French eat fatty foods and have higher blood cholesterol levels but far lower mortality rates for coronary artery disease. [Novartis Foundation Symposium 1998]
Dr. Renaud said this was because of wine's ability to dissolve blood clots forming in arteries that feed the heart with oxygenated blood, not its ability to reduce cholesterol levels. [Lancet June 20, 1992] Yet many consumers say they halted use of resveratrol because it didn't lower their cholesterol. Cholesterol lowering with modest wine consumption wasn't the mechanism identified to reduce mortality for coronary artery disease — it was inhibition of blood clots. While most consumers stick with aspirin to prevent blood clots in coronary arteries, aspirin is of limited value. [PR Newswire; PR Newswire MultiVu]
Despite all the promise of resveratrol in the field of cardiology, not even one human pilot study has ensued. A lone cardiology group in Ft. Lee, New Jersey headed by Nate Lebowitz MD and Jacqueline Hollywood MD carries the lone torch for resveratrol. [ResveratrolNews.com] Adoption of resveratrol by cardiologists has been agonizingly slow. [Current Atherosclerosis Reports Dec 2011]
Leading researchers say "it is reasonable to advocate more definitive human clinical studies since the safety profile is pristine." [Biochim Biophysica Acta June 2015]
So what is everybody waiting for? What harm could come of it?
Resveratrol for heart attacks
Despite the fact resveratrol's leading researcher was accused of scientific fraud, studies continue to validate the work of the late Dipak Das PhD [Molecular Nutrition Food Research March 2015] In fact, the unique method by which resveratrol works in the heart has now been validated in humans, not just the animal lab. [Clinical Hemorheol Microcirculation 2012]
While there has been tremendous interest in resveratrol's ability to control the Sirtuin1 survival gene's however there is growing knowledge that resveratrol activates a cell energy-sensing molecule called AMPK that is at the center of aging, metabolic problems and even cancer. The most recent finding is that resveratrol via AMPK is capable of improving heart function. [Genetics Molecular Research Jan 21, 2014]
Battlefield use of resveratrol
Resveratrol ought to be used today in the field of battle to save lives. Resveratrol prolongs life of laboratory animals subjected to major injury accompanied by hemorrhage of blood. Instead of animals living 30 minutes they lived up to 4 hours when given resveratrol following major blood hemorrhage. [Molecular Medicine April 13, 2015] Your loved ones in the military in battle zones should be taking resveratrol pills. There is no practical or ethical way to conduct a human trial in the battlefield to compare resveratrol against an inactive placebo pill.
Ditto on the use of resveratrol for brain concussions and other noise-induced brain trauma. [Journal Trauma Acute Care Surgery Feb 2013] This would extend resveratrol to use beyond the battlefield to prevent and treat sports injuries and other accidental brain trauma. There is no ethical way to conduct a study with resveratrol for brain trauma. It just needs to be employed given its record for safety. Athletes who sustain concussions should take resveratrol.
Fatty liver disease and hepatitis
There is not an FDA-approved medicine for fatty liver disease caused by iron overload. Again, resveratrol should be prescribed or recommended by physicians as front-line therapy given that more than a third of Americans have fatty liver disease. [Liver International June 16, 2015]
There is adequate human data for physicians to begin recommending resveratrol for diabetics. Resveratrol's remarkably safety profile is also noted. [Molecular Nutrition Food Research Jan 2015] Resveratrol has been available as a dietary supplement for over 10 years now with no serious adverse reactions reported.
One review concluded that: "resveratrol significantly improves glucose control and insulin sensitivity in persons with diabetes but does not affect glycemic measures in non-diabetic persons." [American Journal Clinical Nutrition June 2014]
For helpless eye conditions
About 15% of patients who suffer vision loss from macular degeneration do not respond to modern medicines injected directly into the eyes. Preliminary evidence points to resveratrol as a rescue agent. [Nutrients Oct 17, 2014] Yet its use remains limited.
A protective biological mechanism whereby mild biological stressors activate internal antioxidant systems has been a bit complicated and confusing for consumers to grasp. Resveratrol and other small natural molecules actually stress the body which triggers a gene transcription factor called Nrf2 to activate antioxidant enzymes glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase. Resveratrol exhibits profound ability to activate Nrf2. [Stroke June 2015; American Journal Physiology Regulation Integrative Complementary Physiology May 2015; Pharmacological Research Jan 2015; Redox Reports May 2014]
A recent survey noted that potential consumers of resveratrol dietary supplements are identified by the use of alternative medicines rather than need to treat any ailment or any other variables such as age or income. Resveratrol users are not even characterized by especially healthy behaviors like with other dietary supplements. They are more likely to be indulgers of food and wine. Which suggests resveratrol could give consumers misdirected permission to overeat. [BMC Public Health Feb 2015] - ©2015 Bill Sardi, ResveratrolNews.com