Polyphenols Fight More Than Free Radicals
Men and women often hear to eat a colorful plate or a varied diet that uses many colors. Science backs the common claim because a variety of fruits and vegetables introduced into the diet bring powerful antioxidants into the body to fight and delay free radical damage.
Polyphenolsare one of three groups of antioxidants, but their health benefits come from the skins and rinds of plants and fruit.
Health Problems Polyphenols Can Combat
Research, however, supports that a diet rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols and more specifically resveratrol, can reduce the risk of many diseases.
• Heart disease—reduces risk factors associated with the disease.
• Cancer—may inhibit cancer from replicating and spreading.
• Alzheimer’s disease—may slow cognitive decline.
• Diabetes—can increase insulin sensitivity and activate AMPK.
Studies show that resveratrol might also lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, protect the brain, ease joint pain, and in animals, lengthen the lifespan. Possible benefits can be helpful for many people; no studies have been done to show a correlation in life span and resveratrol use.
Research supports that taking large doses, such as with resveratrol—the most popular of polyphenols, provides more benefits than eating whole food sources of the antioxidant. Polyphenols have four sub-groups, and of those sub-groups, even more sub-groups exist. Therefore, it can be difficult for men and women to obtain the right levels needed for their overall health. Few people have extremely varied diets that are required to obtain the right amounts, or they cannot consume the amounts of food needed. In addition, the body metabolizes the natural, whole food sources too quickly and absorption from foods is minimal.
From stilbenes, a sub-group of antioxidants, resveratrol is present in red wine, red grape skins, and peanuts. Other sources include various spices and herbs as well as berries. Skins and rinds contain the highest concentrations too. Unfortunately, as stated above, diet typically is not enough and the best pure resveratrol supplement offers a more substantial dose for increased benefits than a diet rich in antioxidants alone can do. Does this mean people should not continue to eat their fruits and vegetables? Of course not. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods still has plenty of healthful benefits.
Possible Side Effects
To date, studies have no noted severe side effects and lesser effects seem too far and few to have a correlation with the supplement. Some risks might arise with the use of certain medications, so it is important to talk to a doctor before starting this or any supplement if currently taking medications. Higher risks of bruising and bleeding can occur if using anti-clotting medications and some pain relievers, due to the anti-clotting properties found in some supplements. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, many of resveratrol’s benefits will outweigh the minimal risks for most healthy adults. It is still good practice to speak with a doctor, natural doctor/holistic practitioner, or a nutritionist before taking any supplements or medications.