Updated: Mar 12
Resveratrol is a plant polyphenol (a beneficial micronutrient in plants reported by some to improve digestion, brain function, and protects against blood clots, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, heart disease and some cancers). Per some scientists it can help reverse and or delay aging. So, is this real or pop science?
Here is the general theory. Resveratrol has been reported over and over to rejuvenate by activating specific longevity genes called SIRTUINS, and in particular, the SIRT 1 gene. There are 7 SIRTUIN genes. This SIRT 1 gene assists in longevity by removing certain bad compounds from the histones (highly alkaline proteins), which the DNA strands wind themselves around.
To know how this works one needs to understand more about the affects of fasting. Fasting has been known to extend life and protect the organism from disease. This includes other mammals, not just the human species. It seems that cells need some physical stress, which they then counter by lengthening their life span. This stress is known as caloric restriction and triggers the SIRT 1 gene.
To date, experiments have shown in fruit fly, worms, rats and rodents, and now monkeys, that longer lives can be achieved by triggering this SIRT 1 gene. It has been further found that resveratrol triggers that same mechanism that stress provides. Thus, thereby lengthening life span. When there is stress, cells use the various compounds of niacin, such as NAD+ and NMN, to also bring this about. (See the references [2 and 3] below and the previous blog on the same.)
It was also found experimentally that resveratrol reduced mortality and neurological functions in rats (1), as well as extending their life.
Now, per some, phenols have also been shown to work on rats better than resveratrol. One super-herb in this, as an example, is sandalwood. It is in our Super Superfood Gold by Himalayan Long Life Botanicals. Pterostilbene is the name of the active compound, and some tote it benefits more effective than resveratrol. Sandalwood powder however is extraordinarily expensive. But there are other herbs such as turmeric (curcuminoids), which are inexpensive. Included are gingerols from ginger, eugenol from cloves, and coumarin from cinnamon.
The ingredients in the Himalayan Long Life Botanicals Super Superfood Reds were chosen because they are reputed to contain resveratrol or the other alternatives. These ingredients are specifically: cocoa, pomegranate, black grape, beetroot, and moringa, for their resveratrol. They account for 45% of the Reds formula. Those with phenols, which some say do the same or better than resveratrol, are turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, and they account for a further 12% of the formula. Others such as ashwaganda, rose powder, licorice root powder, and hibiscus have longevity reputations, and account for another 15% of the formula. The remaining ingredients in the Reds are included for their vitamins, minerals, and a supply of niacin.
Why are there so many different plants? Some people could say, just have turmeric. Others hail moringa as a miracle tree. There are good arguments for just one or two great superfoods like these. However, it is also been said that if you have mega diets of one vitamin, it can manifest as an apparent deficiency of others. It is not known if this holds true for all trace micronutrients in general, but it seems wise to play safe by increasing the many different types of herbs, plants, and their thousands of plant micronutrients. After all, there are 1300 enzymes in a human cell. And they can create 100,000 chemicals in the body to enable the body to work in all its parts. So, it would behoove us to supply the body with as many nutrient sources as possible. In common sense layman's terms, we might say, eat a balanced meal for good health.
Resveratrol is reported to empower mitochondria, as so with niacin compounds. This again is why we have it, even if there are phenols some say are better. The mitochondria are micro-cells within our human cell. Mitochondria are said to be the powerhouse within cells. Niacin, along with resveratrol, is said to empower these powerhouses, making them stronger and more efficient in improving the host cell around them.
The next question might be, why do we believe the Himalayas are the best food source for all these ingredients? That is simple and the logic goes like this. Firstly, there is less atmosphere, and this in theory places more stress on plants to produce better resveratrol and phenols. Secondly, there are minerals constantly being pushed to the surface daily as the great Indian and Asian tectonic plates collide. This means these superfoods, truly should be naturally harvested mega superfoods.
The top illustration is of Himalayan Knotweed, with Himalayan peaks in the distance, near the Tibetan border. Photo by Nick Broadhurst, near Bimala's home village.
NOTE: If you are ill, please go to a physician. If on the other hand, you want good health by a cross selection of good nutrition, with an associated long life, our super superfoods by Himalayan Long Life Botanicals are available for you.
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