The age-old search for the mythological Fountain of Youth is the thing of legend. Men have dedicated their lives to find it; some of them disappearing and sacrificing their lives for the search. Countless poems and stories have been inspired by the idea of eternal youth and a fountain that could give it to you forever. The tale of the Fountain of Youth is largely regarded as fiction by the modern world. Yet, we cannot help ourselves from pursuing eternal youth through modern means. These days, instead of looking for a magical fountain that will keep us young forever, we look for supplements and natural products that will do the same. And we may have come one step closer to finding it with resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a phytoalexin that is produced by certain plants when they are attacked by bacteria, fungus, or other pathogens. The scientific community has recently been abuzz with its potential to fight cancer, lower blood sugar, improve cardiovascular function, and reduce inflammation. There have also been reports that, when administered to old mice, these mice had greater aortic flexibility, increased mineral strength in their bones, reduced cataracts, and greater motor coordination. While they did not outlive their control subjects, they did enjoy a significantly more comfortable old age.
While resveratrol and other polyphenols are certainly naturally present in certain foods, especially grapes and red wine, it can be difficult to get them in levels that would have an impact on your health. They are also extremely reactive, so, even if you’re able to eat lots of grapes every day, the effectiveness of the polyphenols could be compromised by any number of factors. It is believed by many scientists that the best way to get adequate levels of polyphenols to enjoy its benefits is to take it in supplement form.
Resveratrol supplements are most commonly derived from Japanese knotweed. They come in pill form, and can contain anywhere from fifty to ninety-nine percent polyphenols. You should always be careful not to take too much of any supplement. Some polyphenol supplements may contain emodin, which is safe in moderate quantities, but can have laxative effects if taken in excess. There may not be an actually Fountain of Youth waiting to be discovered in some jungle in South America, but we’ve come one step closer to eternal youth with the discovery of the benefits of polyphenols.