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  • Resveratrol: How do it know?

    October 17, 2016: by Bill Sardi

    Resveratrol Promotes/Inhibits New Blood Vessel Formation Simultaneously in Heart/Eyes

    There is an old joke about the miracle of the Thermos bottle, which one salesman called the greatest invention in the world.

    A by-stander asked why a Thermos bottle would be considered the greatest invention in the world.

    “It keeps hot food and beverages hot and cold food and beverages cold” the salesman said.

    The by-stander had the gumption to ask: “But how do it know?” []

    Similarly resveratrol exhibits inexplicable divergent biological activity to the puzzlement of biologists.

    After a heart attack resveratrol promotes budding of blood capillaries and creation of collateral circulation in coronary arteries, which facilitates delivery of oxygen and nutrients to scarred (fibrotic) muscle tissue via activation of a protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). [Free Radical Biology & Medicine Dec 2016; Cell Biochemistry Biophysics 2006]

    Simultaneously, resveratrol inhibits sight-threatening invasion by abnormal blood vessels at the back of the eyes via reduction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). [Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Science April 2011; European Journal Nutrition Oct 2010; Acta Ophthalmologica Feb 2012; Molecules 2014] This has actually been demonstrated in human eyes. [Nutrients June 2013]

    Human Eye: Angiogenesis

    New blood vessel inhibition is also an approach to starving tumors of nutrients and killing them off without the toxicity of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is called anti-angiogenesis. Resveratrol inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth. [FASEB Journal 2001]

    Not much is published on resveratrol’s unique ability to both promote and inhibit the growth of new capillary blood vessels in different parts of the body simultaneously.

    A lone report, published in 2007 [In Vivo 2007], does not do justice to resveratrol’s tissue selective bi-directional action.


    Capillaries are fine hair-thin tubes that connect between the fine arterioles (red hoses) and venules (blue hoses). As coronary arteries progressively narrow due to atherosclerosis it is important for the heart muscle tissue surrounding the artery to find secondary collateral circulation.

    Artery: Collateral Circulation


    Since heart muscle cells do not renew themselves rapidly after sustaining damage like skin cells do, it is critically important for heart muscle cells to accelerate repair. About 10-25% of patients who experience an acute heart attack eventually develop heart failure due to scarred tissue. [Current Cardiovascular Imaging Reports 2012]

    Damage to heart muscle does not occur when circulation is blocked but rather when circulation is restored and oxygen is delivered to create destructive oxygen free radicals without protective endogenous enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase). This is called reperfusion injury.

    Resveratrol works to prevent or reduce reperfusion injury by activating the internal antioxidants mentioned above PRIOR TO a heart attack and/or reperfusion injury. This phenomenon is called cardiac preconditioning. [Vascular Pharmacology April 2005]

    The only resveratrol dietary supplement to have undergone testing for reperfusion injury is Longevinex®, which worked about 40% better than plain resveratrol in an animal model of reperfusion injury. [PLoS One Dec 2010; Canadian Journal Physiology Pharmacology Nov 2010] This means millions more of heart muscle cells were spared from injury. For ethical reasons human studies of this nature cannot be conducted.

    The broad biological action of resveratrol is nothing less than astounding.

    Resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-trol), known as a red wine molecule, has incomparably broad biological action as a pain reliever, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory agent with blood thinning properties and germicidal action (anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial) and facilitates disposal of cholesterol from the liver and beta amyloid plaque in the brain. Not to mention the many ways it inhibits all three stages of cancer (initiation, growth and spread), something no existing anti-cancer drug can do.

    Biologists continue to be baffled over resveratrol’s ability to activate biological activity in two completely opposite directions simultaneously.

    It is difficult to fathom anybody not availing themselves of the health benefits of resveratrol, a truly miraculous molecule that falls short of its promise only because it is not being adopted into daily health regimens on a broad scale.

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