A review scheduled for publication in the September, 2009 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research summarizes the health-promoting effects of resveratrol, a polyphenol compound found in red grapes, wine, and other plant foods.
University of Queensland School of Biomedical Sciences associate professor Lindsay Brown and colleagues conclude that resveratrol may help protect against a wide array of diseases and conditions. "The breadth of benefits is remarkable – cancer prevention, protection of the heart and brain from damage, reducing age-related diseases such as inflammation, reversing diabetes and obesity, and many more," Dr Brown stated. "It has long been a question as to how such a simple compound could have these effects but now the puzzle is becoming clearer with the discovery of the pathways, especially the sirtuins, a family of enzymes that regulate the production of cellular components by the nucleus. 'Is resveratrol the only compound with these properties?' This would seem unlikely, with similar effects reported for other components of wine and for other natural products such as curcumin. However, we know much more about resveratrol relative to these other compounds."
Red wine contains a number of active compounds, including flavonols, anthocyanins and phenolic acids, in addition to resveratrol. Wine drinking has been associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk and in mortality over a given period of time when consumed in moderation; yet excessive alcohol intake is linked with multiple organ damage and other adverse effects.
"It sounds contradictory that a single compound can benefit the heart by preventing damage to cells, yet prevent cancer by causing cell death," Dr Brown observed. "The most likely explanation for this, still to be rigorously proved in many organs, is that low concentrations activate survival mechanisms of cells while high concentrations turn on the in-built death signals in these cells."
"The key difference is probably the result of activation of the sirtuins in the nucleus. Low activation reverses age-associated changes, while high activation increases the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death to remove cellular debris," Dr Brown added. "Similar changes are seen with low-dose versus high-dose resveratrol: low-dose resveratrol produces cellular protection and reduces damage, while high-dose resveratrol prevents cancers."
"It is a cliché that 'nature is a treasure trove of compounds,' but studies with resveratrol show that this is correct!" Dr Brown enthused. "We need to understand better the vast array of compounds that exist in nature, and determine their potential benefits to health."
The consumption of alcohol results in the formation of two very toxic compounds, acetaldehyde and malondialdehyde. These compounds generate massive free-radical damage to cells throughout the body. The free-radical damage generated by these alcohol metabolites creates an effect in the body similar to that caused by radiation poisoning. That is the reason why people feel so sick the day after consuming too much alcohol. If the proper combination of antioxidants is taken at the time the alcohol is consumed or before the inebriated individual goes to bed, the hangover and much of the cellular damage caused by alcohol may be prevented.
Aging makes us increasingly vulnerable to alcohol-induced hangover, liver injury, and damage to the central nervous system. In the elderly, alcohol- and drug-induced injury is more common and more serious, and recovery is more difficult.
Nutrients that neutralize alcohol byproducts and protect cells against the damaging effects of alcohol include vitamin C, vitamin B1, the amino acids S-allyl-cysteine and glutathione, vitamin E, and selenium (Sprince et al. 1975; Hell et al. 1976; Loguercio et al. 1993; van Zandwijk 1995; Marotta et al. 2001).
Generation of free radicals is one result of ethanol consumption. As has already been discussed, supplementing with the right antioxidants while consuming ethanol significantly reduces consequences of these free radicals throughout the body. Ethanol also depresses an enzyme required to convert methionine into S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) (Mato et al. 1994), resulting in a deficiency of SAMe. Alcohol-induced depletion of SAMe can be overcome by SAMe supplementation which restores hepatic SAMe levels (Lieber 1997; 2000a; 2000b; 2000c).
Supplementation with 400-800 mg of SAMe twice a day will help support healthy liver function.
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Keynote Speaker - Eldred Taylor, M.D. Dr. Eldred Taylor is a professional orator, educator and author. He is currently Medical Director of the Taylor Medical Group specializing in functional medicine for women and their families. He will be presenting “The Stress Connection” … Connecting the Link Between Stress, Hormone Disruption and Immune Suppression.
The human mouth is teeming with bacteria. Brushing, flossing, and traditional dental care often aren’t enough to escape the health risks of too much of the wrong kind of bacteria in the human mouth. With oral probiotics, we may be able to prevent or at least control the growth of the dangerous organisms where they originate.
Advanced Oral Hygiene is a new oral probiotic that provides the beneficial bacteria that can help block harmful bacteria that first develop in the mouth. This sophisticated oral probiotic therapy allows the healthy and naturally occurring organisms found in the body to out-compete the harmful bacteria.
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Supplement to be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary.