New Resveratrol Mechanisms Found

resveratrol and weight loss

Photo © Pilar Echeverria

New research from the National Institutes of Health’s Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research has found the mechanisms of resveratrol are actually more potent than previously thought, rendering benefits for metabolic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, in addition to slowing the aging process.

It was previously thought that resveratrol’s mechanism of action directly activated the gene sequencing molecule called surtuin-1, which regulated cellular aging. While the new research does illustrate that surtuin-1 is activated by resveratrol, the activation takes place indirectly by inhibiting a category of enzymes called cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterases, or PDEs.

The reason for the significance of the discovery is that blocking these enzymes increases levels of available cAMP. High cAMP levels allow clear signalling responses to blood glucose levels, while activating an enzyme called AMPK. This pathway increases the cells’ energy productivity, utilizes glucose better, and helps strengthens cells.

Resveratrol’s mechanisms illustrate why it can increase weight loss and balance blood sugar levels.

Jay Chung, MD, PhD, lead researcher in the study, confirmed the significance for these new findings. “Resveratrol has the potential as a therapy for diverse diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.”

Resveratrol is most famously known to be come from wine, but the grape’s seeds and skins actually contain more resveratrol than the grape’s juice. This makes fresh grapes, raisins and grapeseed extract a more potent in terms of resveratrol content. Besides grapes, many red berries also contain resveratrol. The Japanese knotweed herb maintains one of the highest resveratrol contents known, and most supplements are derived from knotweed extract.

Written by Case Adams, PhD

REFERENCES:

Chung JH. Using PDE inhibitors to harness the benefits of calorie restriction: lessons from resveratrol. Aging (Albany NY). 2012 Mar 4.

Park SJ, Ahmad F, Philp A, Baar K, Williams T, Luo H, Ke H, Rehmann H, Taussig R, Brown AL, Kim MK, Beaven MA, Burgin AB, Manganiello V, Chung JH. Resveratrol ameliorates aging-related metabolic phenotypes by inhibiting cAMP phosphodiesterases. Cell. 2012 Feb 3;148(3):421-33.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.