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  • Resveratrol After A Heart Attack

    January 8, 2018: by Bill Sardi

    Anyone who has had a heart attack or is at high risk for a heart attach should take a daily resveratrol pill.  Heart muscle cells are slow regenerate after a heart attack.  Dead cells become scar tissue that impairs the pumping power after a heart attack.  A rationale for post heart attack resveratrol stem cell therapy is growing.

    For the longest time it was thought the human heart had no regenerative capability.  The discovery of endogenous stem cells harbored within human heart tissue in 2003 changed that thinking.

    Stem cell therapy to replace scarred heart tissue following a heart attack has been a disappointment.  The transplantation of stem cells into heart muscle tissue damaged by a heart attack is marginalized by the fact most engrafted stem cells fail to survive.

    Then 2010 Dipak K Das PhD reported that the provision of resveratrol in laboratory rats prior to injection of stem cells resulted in greater stem cell survival and improvement in heart pumping action (ejection fraction).  Dr. Das noted the activation of the Nrf2 gene transcription factor was the controlling mechanism.  Nrf2 activates endogenous enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase-SOD) in cardiac stem cells.  Dr. Das showed a modest dose of resveratrol, just 175 milligrams/160-lb human, facilitated the survival of injected stem cells.

    But what about endogenous stem cells within the heart?  Researchers now answer that question.  Resveratrol was given to laboratory mice following an experimentally induced heart attack.  Resveratrol treatment almost doubled the number of endogenous cardiac stem cells and improved the pumping power of the heart.   Resveratrol also improved survival of injected stem cells.  Resveratrol increased growth factors, the number of blood capillaries and nitric oxide, a gas that dilates (widens) coronary arteries.  The dose of resveratrol used in these rodents was equivalent to 175 milligrams in humans, a dose commonly available in dietary supplements.

    Resveratrol dietary supplements have been safely used for over a dozen years.  Modern cardiology demands a controlled placebo comparison study to make resveratrol a drug with the claim it is beneficial following a heart attack.  But cardiology is dragging its feet.  This means post-heart attack patients will have to decide for themselves.  For now, resveratrol is confined to the animal lab except for independent-minded patients who assess there is little risk and the prospect of considerable gain.

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