One of the mysteries of aging was that the French people, despite a diet rich in fat and among the highest percentage of smokers in the world, lived longer than many of their counterparts living in ?healthier? countries.?The differences weren?t explained by genetics, better doctors, or fewer environmental toxins. What was suspected was that the French might be getting some benefit from their frequent drinking of wine.?And then the evidence began to pour in ? first in animal studies, and then in human studies. A compound known as resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound found abundantly in red wine and grapes, was the critical chemical in red wine with a myriad of health benefits ? longer life, reduced heart disease, anti-cancer benefits, weight control, better glucose levels in diabetics, reduced inflammation in arteries and more. The question has become, ?Not what can resveratrol do?? but rather, ?What can?t resveratrol do?? Companies jumped on the mountain of research and hundreds of resveratrol supplements began hitting store shelves. Our customers have been asking for the past few years about why we hadn?t offered a resveratrol product, and frankly, there wasn?t (yet) shown to be any benefit to eye health.?But that changed when a recent study demonstrated that Resveratrol effectively prevented new blood vessels from forming and even eliminating them once they had formed. The study, published in the July issue of the American Journal of Pathology found that resveratrol reduces the growth of abnormal new blood vessels in the eye (angiogenesis), the very same process that causes wet macular degeneration. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that high doses of resveratrol helps block the formation of these abnormal new blood vessels in mouse retinas. When abnormal new blood vessels grow out of control, the result is rapid vision loss in wet macular degeneration and some forms of diabetic retinopathy. The investigators used a laser to make four incisions on the retinas of mice, thereby stimulating angiogenesis. Some mice received no resveratrol, while two groups received different doses that far exceeded the level of resveratrol found in a glass of wine.?The scientists found that in the two groups of mice given resveratrol, the abnormal blood vessels began to disappear. And the effect was much more marked in the group given the higher dose. Now that I was intent on bringing resveratrol to our thousands of devoted customers, the question became, "How do we do it better than everyone else?" I scoured the offerings from major manufacturers and vitamin stores, and I was shocked to discover two things:
- First, the active trans-resveratrol was coming not from grapes but rather from the plant Polygonum Cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed), which is identified as a "noxious weed" by the United States Department of Agriculture (http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=POCU6) . Why? Because trans-resveratrol is very plentiful in this plant, and the plant itself - a "noxious weed" is dirt cheap!
- Secondly, to cover up the fact that trans-resveratrol is coming from Japanese Knotweed, manufacturers add various red wine grape ingredients in tiny amounts, just so that these ingredients can be listed on the label and the capsules smell of wine when the vitamin bottle is opened.