The age-combating antioxidant that benefits your heart, helps control your weight, and supports hormonal balance for healthy fertility.
In recent years past, resveratrol supplements have gained significant fame and popularity due to discoveries related to its anti-aging effects and cardioprotective properties. Resveratrol can be found naturally in red wine and has been suggested to be the secret to the “French Paradox”: why the French population seems to have very low levels of heart disease despite a high rate of smoking and a diet typically high in saturated fat (think cheese and butter). Resveratrol is an antioxidant, meaning it scavenges and clears out free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cell metabolism and the cause of physical aging. Holistically, antioxidants promote increased longevity of the body and reduced risk of developing age-related maladies like cataracts, bone loss, and heart disease. Free radicals build up faster when the body is exposed to toxins and stress, but increasing your intake of antioxidants can help to fight overproduction. However, you’d have to drink A LOT of wine every day to get all the resveratrol in Metabolic Maintenance’s Resveratrol with Piperine supplement. And with a supplement, you can skip the hangover.
Resveratrol supplements are known as a “nutraceutical”. Nutraceuticals are dietary supplements that provide a concentrated form of a bioactive agent found in natural foods, which can be used to promote health, in higher doses than can be achieved by eating whole foods. Below, you will find information on what makes resveratrol an excellent supplement to benefit the health of your heart, the management of your weight, and the balance of your hormones and fertility.
1. Heart Health
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and heart failure is a major contributor to this statistic. Heart failure is a complex multifactorial syndrome resulting from the heart’s inability to pump adequate circulation to meet the metabolic demands of organs and tissues . Although the most promising evidence has so far been found in preclinical trials, there are data to show that resveratrol has protective properties in the cardiovascular system. Studies have shown a benefit of resveratrol supplementation in models of hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and heart failure . Although not totally conclusive, it is likely that some of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of resveratrol are mediated through activation of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and other endogenous antioxidants . Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, insulin-sensitizing, and lipid-lowering properties which are also probably related to its beneficial cardiovascular effects .
2. Weight Control
Resveratrol appears to activate enzymes that help muscles use oxygen more efficiently. This means energy is processed more efficiently, leading to more endurance and stamina when exercising. More stamina means a longer workout is possible, which means more calories burnt and more weight lost. This effect is hypothesized to be due to the fact that resveratrol increases production of molecules called sirtuins, which may, in turn, increase the number of mitochondria, the machinery inside cells that turn oxygen and glucose into ATP energy . Clinical studies have shown that people taking resveratrol were able to exercise at the same intensity as those who were not taking resveratrol, while maintaining a lower heart rate and exerting less effort, without any additional training . On the cellular level, resveratrol also appears to increase the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, inhibiting production of mature fat cells, and hindering fat storage . This effect could also contribute to weight loss, as long as you are exercising and taking advantage of all that extra glucose energy.
In obese patients, both men and women, resveratrol supplementation has been shown to provide benefits that mimic caloric restriction by improving metabolic profiles and overall health parameters [5,6].
First, resveratrol has been shown to help balance estrogen levels in obese, post-menopausal women . Estrogen is not only produced by the ovaries, but also by adipose (fat) tissue. The problem with estrogen from adipose tissue is that there is no system that regulates it like the negative feedback loop that limits ovarian estrogen . Unbalanced hormone levels, in both men and women, can have a detrimental effect on fertility.
Another specific, yet common factor in female infertility, affecting somewhere between five and six million women in the US alone, is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) . Typically, women suffering from PCOS produce higher levels of testosterone than normal, which can contribute to significant weight gain and infertility. Resveratrol has shown exciting promise in improving the fertility rates for women with PCOS, by lowering their testosterone production [5, 8].
Women who do not suffer from PCOS or obesity may also see beneficial effects of resveratrol on their fertility, especially those of a more advanced age. Age-related infertility is often attributed to the loss of viable eggs and follicles as we get older. This loss of viability is generally caused by the accumulation of free radicals, leading to DNA mutations, protein damage, telomere shortening, and apoptosis (cell death) . Resveratrol may stave off some of this ovarian aging through its potent antioxidant effects, which include enhancing telomerase activity, protecting mitochondrial function, and activating anti-aging genes . By preventing oxidative damage, resveratrol could possibly extend a woman’s fertile years.
That’s not all! Men’s fertility could be affected too. As men age, it is very normal for testosterone levels to slowly decline . Low testosterone in men can lead to a number of symptoms that may result in reduced fertility. A Korean study showed that men’s testosterone levels were actually raised by resveratrol consumption (an opposite effect to that seen in women with PCOS), and sperm quality also improved, demonstrating that resveratrol can be taken by both sexes to help balance out hormonal abnormalities or boost chances of conception .
There’s one hurdle: by itself, the bioavailability of resveratrol is very low, and it is very quickly metabolized by the human body. The uptake of resveratrol by the organs that use it depends on its concentration in the circulation, but circulating levels do not increase in parallel to the dose administered. The limiting factor in the bioavailability of resveratrol is inefficient absorption by the gut . Resveratrol is typically broken down through the process of digestion before it reaches the site of absorption.
This is where piperine comes in: piperine is an alkaloid isolated from black pepper, that is known to inhibit the metabolism of certain chemicals containing glycosidic bonds, a process called glucuronidation. When resveratrol is administered in combination with piperine, the metabolism (or glucuronidation) of resveratrol is slowed significantly, giving the gut more opportunity to absorb resveratrol, leading to a higher circulating resveratrol level, and more opportunity to induce its advantageous effects throughout your body .
Metabolic Maintenance has made this co-administration easy by adding piperine directly to its resveratrol supplement, maximizing its benefits. Their resveratrol has been isolated from a clean source of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) roots and combined with piperine at the same ratio as was determined to be most effective in the study conducted by Johnson, et al. showing metabolic benefits of piperine on resveratrol .
- Raj, Pema, et al. “Potential of resveratrol in the treatment of heart failure.” Life sciences 95.2 (2014): 63-71.
- Zordoky, Beshay NM, Ian M. Robertson, and Jason RB Dyck. “Preclinical and clinical evidence for the role of resveratrol in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease 1852.6 (2015): 1155-1177.
- Laliberte, Richard. “Resveratrol: The New Weight-Loss Supplement? Experts say that taking resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine, grapes, and berries, may help boost endurance, prevent weight gain, and improve energy. Are the claims too good to swallow?” Fitness Magazine. Accessed Nov. 30, 2019. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/mind-body/supplements/weight-loss/resveratrol-the-new-weight-loss-supplement/
- Baile, Clifton A., et al. “Effect of resveratrol on fat mobilization.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1215.1 (2011): 40-47.
- Timmers, Silvie, et al. “Calorie restriction-like effects of 30 days of resveratrol supplementation on energy metabolism and metabolic profile in obese humans.” Cell metabolism 14.5 (2011): 612-622.
- Chow, HH Sherry, et al. “A pilot clinical study of resveratrol in postmenopausal women with high body mass index: effects on systemic sex steroid hormones.” Journal of translational medicine 12.1 (2014): 223.
- Beata Banaszewska, Joanna Wrotyńska-Barczyńska, Robert Z. Spaczynski, Leszek Pawelczyk, Antoni J. Duleba. Effects of Resveratrol on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2016; jc.2016-1858 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2016-1858
- Liu, Mengyuan, et al. “Resveratrol protects against age-associated infertility in mice.” Human Reproduction 28.3 (2013): 707-717.
- Shin, Sunhee, et al. “trans-Resveratrol relaxes the corpus cavernosum ex vivo and enhances testosterone levels and sperm quality in vivo.” Archives of pharmacal research 31.1 (2008): 83-87.
Johnson, Jeremy J., et al. “Enhancing the bioavailability of resveratrol by combining it with piperine.” Molecular nutrition & food research 55.8 (2011): 1169-1176.