Comprehensive Library Of Resveratrol News

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive email notifications when new articles are posted.

  • Your Brain & Heart Cells Must Last A Lifetime

    January 6, 2020: by Bill Sardi

    What To Do Before & After A Heart Attack Or Stroke

    Though it is said the human body renews itself every ten years, that is not true for every tissue and organ in the body. It may never dawn on most people that while humans have a self-renewing/regenerating body, most cells in the heart, eyes and brain never renew themselves and must last for a lifetime. Once damaged or deadened, cells in these critical organs may never regain full function because of a slow rate of cell regeneration.

    The cell turnover (renewal) rate varies throughout the body. If cells in the brain and heart replaced themselves as rapidly as skin cells do (a new layer of skin about every 4-6 weeks) our memories would be lost, our vision would be cloudy and our heart muscle cells would be weakened and couldn’t adequately pump blood. Cells in brain, eye and heart are designed to be replace themselves slowly, if ever at all. The brain, eye and heart cells we were born with must last a lifetime.

    But what if blood supply is interrupted to these critical tissues? Then millions of these cells will be damaged or deadened, resulting in scarred (fibrotic) tissue. With only very slow regenerative capacity, heart attack and stroke patients will have to endure prolonged suffering.

    To re-emphasize, once damaged or killed off by a stroke or a heart attack, brain and heart cells will only slowly regenerate over a period of years. That is why some patients are reported to recover from a stroke-induced coma only many years after the event. And that is why it is critically important to pre-protect the brain, eyes and heart from events like these should they ever occur, and to employ known methods of cellular regeneration following heart attacks and strokes.


    Turnover Rate
    (Cell Renewal Time)

    Stomach 2-9 days
    White blood cells (neutrophils) 1-5 days
    Cervix 6 days
    Lung alveoli 8 days
    Taste buds on tongue 10 days
    Blood platelets 10 days
    Retina: night vision cells (rods)- discs shedding 9-13 days
    Retina: day/color vision cells (cones) Daily, but slow
    Skin (epidermis cells) 10-30 days
    Pancreas beta (insulin secreting) cells 20-50 days
    Sperm cells 2 months
    Bone osteoblasts (bone rebuilders) 3 months
    Red blood cells 4 months
    Liver cells 6-12 months
    Fat cells 8 years
    Heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) 5-10%/year
    Skeleton (bones) 10% per year
    Central nervous system (brain cells) Lifetime
    Focusing lens cells Lifetime
    Retina: Retinal pigment epithelium (barrier between blood supply (choroid) and photoreceptors (rods & cones) Lifetime

    There are an estimated 50-75 trillion cells in the body. It takes about 10 years for all of these cells to replace themselves (bone about 10 years, skin up to 30-45 days, discs of used-up vitamin A every morning in the retina of the eyes). But there are some cells in your body that are as old as you are, namely cells in the eyes, heart and brain. These cells must last a lifetime.

    Stem cell regeneration

    Stem cell therapy is one approach to tissue regeneration. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have not become muscle, brain, heart, skin, bone cells yet. They can morph into different types of cells depending upon their environment.

    While injection of stem cells (undeveloped cells) to replace damaged tissues is advertised as promising, it has been met with disappointment. Unbeknown to most people is that there is a population of stem cells that reside in the body that can be mobilized to enhance cell regeneration following a stroke or heart attack.

    Heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) renew themselves following damage at a very slow rate (1% annually at age 20; 0.3% at age 75). Less than 50% of heart muscle cells are renewed during a normal lifespan. Yet there is a capacity to generate new cardiomyocytes. Renewal of heart muscles cells is considered a rational strategy, but is generally unaddressed by modern cardiology.

    The red wine molecule resveratrol (rez-vair-a-trol) is a biological stressor that activates internal antioxidant defenses in the body without increasing oxidation (toxic species of oxygen). Resveratrol permits internally derived stem cells to survive.

    The adult heart has a population of cardiac stem cells (there is scientific argument over this) that are capable of restoring proper heart pumping action after injury such as a heart attack. These stem cells can morph themselves into new heart muscle cells by stimulation of a protein (called brain derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF).

    A number of natural molecules, in particular the red wine molecule resveratrol, increase BDNF protein. Some other natural molecules documented to increase BDNF are quercetin (red apples/onions); fisetin (strawberries); IP6 (rice bran). BDNF protein is better known for its role in the brain, but has beneficial effects in a damaged heart. Multiple studies confirm resveratrol elevates BDNF blood levels.

    Stem cells in the heart are impaired after an acute heart attack by an inflammatory environment. Treatment of animal hearts with resveratrol following an experimentally induced heart attack increases the number of stem cells and increases the number of blood capillaries (blood supply) and reduces the death rate of heart muscle cells.

    Resveratrol has a similar regenerative capacity in the brain following a stroke, allowing more internally derived stem cells to survive after injury and in rehabilitation. Ditto for the eyes.

    Injected stem cells

    Attempts have been made to inject stem cells into the heart after a heart attack. The vast majority of these injected stem cells do not survive beyond 24-72 hours. In one study, 90% of stem cells injected into normal healthy hearts survived but only 18% in hearts damaged by a prior heart attack. Resveratrol administered to lab animals after an experimentally induced heart attack was demonstrated to improve heart pumping action (ejection fraction).

    Protection of heart, eyes and brain prior to a stroke or heart attack

    Of course, it would be advantageous to prevent damage or death of heart, eye or brain cells before events such as strokes and heart attacks occur. This is also possible via a biological phenomenon known as preconditioning.

    Many years ago, it was observed that a patient who experienced a small heart attack prior to a larger blockage of blood circulation to the heart, experienced less heart damage, irrespective of the severity of the circulatory blockage.

    Mild biological stress to the human body activates internal antioxidant defenses via a protective gene switch called Nrf2. Mild biological stress can be mimicked with molecules like resveratrol that in turn activates the Nrf2 switch. Internal antioxidant defenses are then activated (glutathione, catalase, SOD). If the Nrf2 switch can be continually activated, vulnerable cells in the heart, eyes and brain would be pre-protected against damage should blood circulation be impaired.

    The most documented molecule that can activate Nrf2 is the red wine molecule resveratrol. Resveratrol has been demonstrated in the animal lab to prevent damage to the heart, eyes and brain, should a stroke or heart attack occur.

    Resveratrol activates internal antioxidants (glutathione, SOD, catalase) and enhances regeneration of heart tissues.


    Turning on the Nrf2 switch has been proposed, but has not become a part of modern medical practice.

    A reality is that modern medicine does not practice preventive medicine. So, the public will have to take action on their own to protect their heart, brain and eyes, from future strokes or heart attacks.

    Modest-dose resveratrol (more than what is provided by wine drinking, but not mega-doses) switches on the Nrf2 switch. The human dosage range, derived from animal studies, is 100-350 milligrams of resveratrol.

    The body can also mount a defense against strokes and heart attacks prior any such event.

    Molecular medicine is not being practiced by most cardiologists.

    Modern cardiology is too profit-oriented to utilize simple, economical, non-prescription cell renewal strategies following a heart attack or onset of heart failure, let alone prevent damage from heart attacks and strokes altogether via preconditioning and activation of the Nrf2 switch.

Leave a Reply

In order to submit your comment please complete the calculation below:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.