Resveratrol Prevents Against Cardiovascular Disease2010-02-12
Chinese, the first in the world, has been utilizing food therapy for more than 2000 years. Western countries, however, realized this only some 50 years ago.
★ Arichi H, et al. Effects of stilbene components of the roots of Polygonum cuspidatum. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1982; 30: 1766–1770. （http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110003634507/）
In China, many resveratrol-containing plants, like Giant Knotweed Rhizome and Maltiflower Knotweed, have traditionally used for hypolipidemic, anti-atherosclerosis herbal medicines. Grapes contain abundant amounts of resveratrol. As a result, the incidence rate of high blood fat in French people, who love drinking red wine, is relatively low. Research found that in French red wine, resveratrol content is about 1 mg/L, with 7 mg/L being highest. In comparison, its content in the white wine is lower than 0.1 mg/L. The resveratrol content is dependent on grapes, condition of the producing region, pest invasion, and brewing technology. In fact, resveratrol was re-discovered as an active ingredient in Giant Knotweed Rhizome for reducing blood pressure by Arichi and co-workers. Therefore resveratrol’s hypolipidemic effect is undisputable.
The preventive effect of resveratrol on cardiovascular diseases is not only on blood fat reduction. Another important factor is because resveratrol is also a potent antioxidant. Resveratrol structurally belongs to polyphenols. These compounds have strong bio-antioxidant abilities. Although not as strong as lycopene, resveratrol after dietary intake has different distribution in the body, and therefore different effect. In the previous chapter about lycopene, the effects of bio-antioxidants have been mentioned, including anti-tumor, atherosclerosis prevention, and anti-ageing. The reason for the preventive function of bio-antioxidants on atherosclerosis has been clinically shown using resveratrol which reduces the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) which could lead to atherosclerosis.
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★ Csiszar A, et al. Resveratrol attenuates TNF-a-induced activation of coronary arterial endothelial cells: role of NF-kB inhibition. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2006; 291: H1694–H1699. (http://ajpheart.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/291/4/H1694.pdf)
Using animal models, it has been shown that long term intake of resveratrol can help reduce blood pressure and soften the blood vessels.
★ Rivera L, et al. Long-term resveratrol administration reduces metabolic disturbances and lowers blood pressure in obese Zucker rats. Biochem Pharmacol. 2009; 77(6):1053-63.
National Taiwan University Medical School has concluded that resveratrol can protect the heart in 2000.
★ Hung LM, et al. Cardioprotective effect of resveratrol, a natural antioxidant derived from grapes. Cardiovascular Research 2000; 47: 549–55. (http://cardiovascres.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/47/3/549.pdf)
The mechanism in coronary protection was reported two years later by others.
★ EI-Mowafy AM．Resveratrol activates membrane-bound guanylyl cyclase in coronary arterial smooth muscle：A novel signaling mechanism in support of coronary protection．Biochem Biophysio Res Commu 2002; 291: 1218-1224.
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Resveratrol was also shown to promote NO release and enhance anti-clotting function, which is the most important factor for reducing myocardial infarction.
Japanese research even proved that resveratrol has the protective effect on liver.
★ Kawada N, et al. Effect of antioxidants, resveratrol, quercetin, and N-acetylcysteine, on the functions of cultured rat hepatic stellate cells and Kupffer cells. Hepatology 1998; 27: 1265–1274. (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/106595243/abstract?SRETRY=0)