Ultimate Protector+ includes resveratrol, as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article I will explore the ingredient resveratrol, which is added as a separate ingredient in addition to being a component in the ingredients of SFB® Standardized Fruit Blend and VinCare® Whole Grape Extract from Ethical Naturals, Inc.
Resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi. Natural sources of resveratrol include giant knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries. Resveratrol has two isomers: cis and trans, with the latter being the most abundant. Piceid, also known as polydatin, is a glucoside form of resveratrol found in Japanese knotweed. HPDI includes the very pure 98% resveratrol form from giant knotweed in Ultimate Protector+. This material contains greater than 96% of the trans form.
SFB® Standardized Fruit Blend
SFB® Standardized Fruit Blend is a nutritious, non-GMO blend that provides a broad spectrum of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other antioxidants derived from water and/or ethanol extracts of grape (Vitis vinifera), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), pomegranate (Punica granatum) with >75% polyphenols, blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), apple (Malus pumilla Mill), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillis), chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), and goji berry (Lycium barbarum). This powder has an ORAC value in excess of 9,000 µmole TE/g and contains 50% polyphenols. SFB® has been designed to provide a wide range of plant polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, resveratrol, catechins, OPCs, zeaxanthin and other carotinoids, etc.
VinCare® Whole Grape Extract
VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (seed, pulp, & skin) contains highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape extract are able to strengthen collagen fibers in aging or damaged connective tissue and can act as a preventative against connective tissue degradation. Some research indicates that anthocyanidins, which are found in extracts of grape seed, skin, and stems (but not in grape seed extract), can reduce oxidized glutathione while at the same time become reduced themselves. In addition, extracts of grape skin and pulp (but not those of grape seed extract) contain trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have cell protective effects.
Vincare® contains >80% polyphenols and has an ORAC value of about 19,000 µmole TE/g. ORAC 5.0 testing of grape seed extract exhibits one of the highest values of any tested material at about 100,000 µmole TE/g.
It has been shown that grape seed OPCs activate nuclear erythroid2-related factor2 (Nrf2), which is a key antioxidative transcription factor, with the concomitant elevation of downstream hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1). Click here to view an excellent article entitled Proanthocyanidins [OPCs] against Oxidative Stress: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Applications.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RESVERATROL
Resveratrol provides anti-oxidant protection, boosts cellular energy, and balances the immune system. It has been proven in studies to activate the SIRT1 longevity gene and enhance cellular productivity. Several research studies have shown that trans-resveratrol significantly modulates biomarkers of bone metabolism, inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes such as COX-1 and COX-2, and exhibits chemopreventive properties, cardioprotective effects, neuroprotective properties, and caloric restrictive behavior. Trans-resveratrol has shown the ability to increase the number of mitochondria thereby increasing total daily energy. Studies have shown that trans-resveratrol promotes an increase in mitochondrial function, that translates into an increase in energy availability, improved aerobic capacity, and enhanced sensorimotor function. Resveratrol has been shown to be a powerful Nrf2 activator that can support the body’s endogenous production of protective enzymes.
Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of Resveratrol
Databases of scientific studies (like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database) contain thousands of up-to-date studies and abstracts about resveratrol
Below, we provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of resveratrol.
Resveratrol confers endothelial protection via activation of the antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2.
Epidemiological studies suggest that Mediterranean diets rich in resveratrol are associated with reduced risk of coronary artery disease. Resveratrol was also shown to confer vasoprotection in animal models of type 2 diabetes and aging. However, the mechanisms by which resveratrol exerts its antioxidative vasculoprotective effects are not completely understood. Using a nuclear factor-E(2)-related factor-2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element-driven luciferase reporter gene assay, we found that in cultured coronary arterial endothelial cells, resveratrol, in a dose-dependent manner, significantly increases transcriptional activity of Nrf2. Accordingly, resveratrol significantly upregulates the expression of the Nrf2 target genes NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, and heme oxygenase-1. Resveratrol treatment also significantly attenuated high glucose (30 mM)-induced mitochondrial and cellular oxidative stress (assessed by flow cytometry using MitoSox and dihydroethidine staining). The aforementioned effects of resveratrol were significantly attenuated by the small interfering RNA downregulation of Nrf2 or the overexpression of Kelch-like erythroid cell-derived protein 1, which inactivates Nrf2. To test the effects of resveratrol in vivo, we used mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), which exhibit increased vascular oxidative stress associated with an impaired endothelial function. In HFD-fed Nrf2(+/+) mice, resveratrol treatment attenuates oxidative stress (assessed by the Amplex red assay), improves acetylcholine-induced vasodilation, and inhibits apoptosis (assessed by measuring caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation) in branches of the femoral artery. In contrast, the aforementioned endothelial protective effects of resveratrol were diminished in HFD-fed Nrf2(-/-) mice. Taken together, our results indicate that resveratrol both in vitro and in vivo confers endothelial protective effects which are mediated by the activation of Nrf2.
Mitochondrial Protection by Resveratrol
Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are thought to play important roles in mammalian aging. Resveratrol is a plant-derived polyphenol that exerts diverse antiaging activities, mimicking some of the molecular and functional effects of dietary restriction. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the mitochondrial protective effects of resveratrol, which could be exploited for the prevention or amelioration of age-related diseases in the elderly.
Age-specific mortality rates from heart disease, stroke, complications of diabetes, Alzheimer disease, and cancer increase exponentially with age, which imposes a huge financial burden on the health care systems in the Western world. There is an urgent need for effective therapeutic strategies that have the potential to promote health in the elderly, simultaneously preventing or delaying the development of various diseases of aging. During the past decade, dietary supplementation with resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene) has emerged as a promising approach to counteract age-related diseases. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in more than 70 species of plants, including grapes (Vitis vinifera), cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), and peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), which was shown to confer diverse physiological effects in laboratory animals including cancer protection, microvascular protection, neuroprotection, cardioprotection, and antidiabetic effects. In this review, we consider the evidence in support of the hypothesis that mitochondrial protective effects of resveratrol underlie its antiaging action that can prevent/delay the development of age-related diseases in the cardiovascular system and other organs. The use of resveratrol as a dietary supplement to promote mitochondrial health in the elderly and diabetic patients is discussed.
Resveratrol induces glutathione synthesis by activation of Nrf2 and protects against cigarette smoke-mediated oxidative stress in human lung epithelial cells
Nuclear erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a redox-sensitive transcription factor, is involved in transcriptional regulation of many antioxidant genes, including glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL). Cigarette smoke (CS) is known to cause oxidative stress and deplete glutathione (GSH) levels in alveolar epithelial cells. We hypothesized that resveratrol, a polyphenolic phytoalexin, has antioxidant signaling properties by inducing GSH biosynthesis via the activation of Nrf2 and protects lung epithelial cells against CS-mediated oxidative stress. Treatment of human primary small airway epithelial and human alveolar epithelial (A549) cells with CS extract (CSE) dose dependently decreased GSH levels and GCL activity, effects that were associated with enhanced production of reactive oxygen species. Resveratrol restored CSE-depleted GSH levels by upregulation of GCL via activation of Nrf2 and also quenched CSE-induced release of reactive oxygen species. Interestingly, CSE failed to induce nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in A549 and small airway epithelial cells. On the contrary, Nrf2 was localized in the cytosol of alveolar and airway epithelial cells due to CSE-mediated posttranslational modifications such as aldehyde/carbonyl adduct formation and nitration. On the other hand, resveratrol attenuated CSE-mediated Nrf2 modifications, thereby inducing its nuclear translocation associated with GCL gene transcription, as demonstrated by GCL-promoter reporter and Nrf2 small interfering RNA approaches. Thus resveratrol attenuates CSE-mediated GSH depletion by inducing GSH synthesis and protects epithelial cells by reversing CSE-induced posttranslational modifications of Nrf2. These data may have implications in dietary modulation of antioxidants in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Effect of Nrf2 activators on release of glutathione, cysteinylglycine and homocysteine by human U373 astroglial cells
Neurons rely on the release and subsequent cleavage of GSH to cysteinylglycine (CysGly) by astrocytes in order to maintain optimal intracellular GSH levels. In neurodegenerative diseases characterised by oxidative stress, neurons need an optimal GSH supply to defend themselves against free radicals released from activated microglia and astroglia. The rate of GSH synthesis is controlled largely by the activity of γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase. Expression of γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase and of the Xc- system, which facilitates cystine uptake, is regulated by the redox-sensitive transcription factor, nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Compounds that can activate the Nrf2-ARE pathway, referred to as ‘Nrf2 activators’ are receiving growing attention due to their potential as GSH-boosting drugs.
This study compares four known Nrf2 activators, R-α-Lipoic acid (LA), tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), sulforaphane (SFN) and Polygonum cuspidatum extract containing 50% resveratrol (PC-Res) for their effects on astroglial release of GSH and CysGly. GSH levels increased dose-dependently in response to all four drugs. Sulforaphane produced the most potent effect, increasing GSH by up to 2.4-fold. PC-Res increased GSH up to 1.6-fold, followed by TBHQ (1.5-fold) and LA (1.4-fold). GSH is processed by the ectoenzyme, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, to form CysGly. Once again, SFN produced the most potent effect, increasing CysGly by up to 1.7-fold, compared to control cells. TBHQ and PC-Res both induced fold increases of 1.3, followed by LA with a fold increase of 1.2. The results from the present study showed that sulforaphane, followed by lipoic acid, resveratrol and Polygonum multiflorum were all identified as potent “GSH and Cys-Gly boosters”.
Resveratrol Upregulates Nrf2 Expression To Attenuate Methylglyoxal-Induced Insulin Resistance in Hep G2 Cells
Oxidative stress can result in insulin resistance, a primary cause of type-2 diabetes. Methylglyoxal (MG), a highly reactive dicarbonyl metabolite generated during glucose metabolism, has also been confirmed to cause pancreatic injury and induce inflammation, thereby resulting in insulin resistance. Recently, resveratrol has been reported to exert antioxidant properties, protecting cells from the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The aim of this study was to evaluate resveratrol activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to attenuate MG-induced insulin resistance in Hep G2 cells. Therefore, the molecular signaling events affecting resveratrol-mediated heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and glyoxalase expression levels were further investigated in this study. Our findings indicated that resveratrol activated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway but not the p38 or c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways, subsequently leading to Nrf2 nuclear translocation and elevation of HO-1 and glyoxalase expression levels. Moreover, resveratrol significantly elevated glucose uptake and protected against MG-induced insulin resistance in Hep G2 cells. In contrast, depletion of Nrf2 by small interfering RNA (si-RNA) resulted in the abrogation of HO-1 and glyoxalase expression in the MG-treated resveratrol group in Hep G2 cells. Administration of an appropriate chemopreventive agent, such as resveratrol, may be an alternative strategy for protecting against MG-induced diabetes.
Resveratrol restores sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) activity and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) expression after hemorrhagic injury in a rat model.
Severe hemorrhage leads to decreased blood flow to tissues resulting in decreased oxygen and nutrient availability affecting mitochondrial function. A mitoscriptome profiling study demonstrated alteration in several genes related to mitochondria, consistent with the mitochondrial functional decline observed after trauma hemorrhage (T-H). Our experiments led to the identification of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) as a potential target in T-H. Administration of resveratrol (a naturally occurring polyphenol and activator of SIRT1) after T-H improved left ventricular function and tissue ATP levels. Our hypothesis was that mitochondrial function after T-H depends on SIRT1 activity. In this study, we evaluated the activity of SIRT1, a mitochondrial functional modulator, and the mitochondrial-glycolytic balance after T-H. We determined the changes in protein levels of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK)-1 and nuclear c-Myc, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC)-1α and NF-E2-related factor (NRF)2 after T-H and after treatment with resveratrol or a combination of sirtinol (a SIRT1 inhibitor) and resveratrol. We have also tested the activity of mitochondrial complex 1. SIRT1 enzyme activity was significantly decreased after T-H, whereas resveratrol treatment restored the activity. We found elevated PDK1 and c-Myc levels and decreased PGC-1α, NRF2 and mitochondrial complex I activity after T-H. The reduced SIRT1 activity after T-H may be related to declining mitochondrial function, since resveratrol was able to reinstate SIRT1 activity and mitochondrial function. The elevated level of PDK1 (an inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) after T-H indicates a possible shift in cellular energetics from mitochondria to glycolysis. In conclusion, SIRT1 modulation alters left ventricular function after T-H through regulation of cellular energetics.
Resveratrol suppresses PAI-1 gene expression in a human in vitro model of inflamed adipose tissue.
Increased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels are associated with a number of pathophysiological complications; among them is obesity. Resveratrol was proposed to improve obesity-related health problems, but the effect of resveratrol on PAI-1 gene expression in obesity is not completely understood. In this study, we used SGBS adipocytes and a model of human adipose tissue inflammation to examine the effects of resveratrol on the production of PAI-1. Treatment of SGBS adipocytes with resveratrol reduced PAI-1 mRNA and protein in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Further experiments showed that obesity-associated inflammatory conditions lead to the upregulation of PAI-1 gene expression which was antagonized by resveratrol. Although signaling via PI3K, Sirt1, AMPK, ROS, and Nrf2 appeared to play a significant role in the modulation of PAI-1 gene expression under noninflammatory conditions, those signaling components were not involved in mediating the resveratrol effects on PAI-1 production under inflammatory conditions. Instead, we demonstrate that the resveratrol effects on PAI-1 induction under inflammatory conditions were mediated via inhibition of the NF κ B pathway. Together, resveratrol can act as NF κ B inhibitor in adipocytes and thus the subsequently reduced PAI-1 expression in inflamed adipose tissue might provide a new insight towards novel treatment options of obesity.
Effects of resveratrol in experimental and clinical non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The prevalence of obesity and related conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing worldwide and therapeutic options are limited. Alternative treatment options are therefore intensively sought after. An interesting candidate is the natural polyphenol resveratrol (RSV) that activates adenosinmonophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and silent information regulation-2 homolog 1 (SIRT1). In addition, RSV has known anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we review the current evidence for RSV-mediated effects on NAFLD and address the different aspects of NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) pathogenesis with respect to free fatty acid (FFA) flux from adipose tissue, hepatic de novo lipogenesis, inadequate FFA β-oxidation and additional intra- and extrahepatic inflammatory and oxidant hits. We review the in vivo evidence from animal studies and clinical trials. The abundance of animal studies reports a decrease in hepatic triglyceride accumulation, liver weight and a general improvement in histological fatty liver changes, along with a reduction in circulating insulin, glucose and lipid levels. Some studies document AMPK or SIRT1 activation, and modulation of relevant markers of hepatic lipogenesis, inflammation and oxidation status. However, AMPK/SIRT1-independent actions are also likely. Clinical trials are scarce and have primarily been performed with a focus on overweight/obese participants without a focus on NAFLD/NASH and histological liver changes. Future clinical studies with appropriate design are needed to clarify the true impact of RSV treatment in NAFLD/NASH patients.
Modulatory role of resveratrol on cytotoxic activity of cisplatin, sensitization and modification of cisplatin resistance in colorectal cancer cells.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-associated mortality worldwide. Cisplatin (CIS) is one of the most active cytotoxic agents in current use and it has proven efficacy against various human malignancies. However, its clinical usefulness has been restricted by detrimental side effects, including nephrotoxicity and myelosuppression. The aim of the present study was to attempt to decrease the required dose of CIS, in order to minimize its side effects, and increase its capability to arrest, delay or reverse carcinogenesis. In addition, the present study aimed to ameliorate CIS‑resistance in CRC cells, using the natural compound resveratrol (RSVL). RSVL (3,4′, 5‑trihydroxy‑trans‑stilbene) is a naturally occurring polyphenol present in the roots of white hellebore (Veratrum grandiflorum O. Loes) and extracted from >70 other plant species. RSVL can exert antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory activities, and it has been shown to be active in the regulation of numerous cellular events associated with carcinogenesis. The present study evaluated the effects of RSVL on sensitization of both parent and CIS‑resistant HCT‑116 CRC cells to the action of cisplatin. The CIS was administered at a dose of 5 and 20 µg/ml, and CIS cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell cycle and cisplatin cellular uptake were examined in the presence and absence of RSVL (15 µg/ml). RSVL treatment showed anti‑proliferative effects and enhanced the cytotoxic effects of cis against the growth of both parent and CIS‑resistant HCT‑116 CRC cells, with a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 4.20 µg/ml and 4.72 µg/ml respectively. RSVL also induced a significant increase in the early apoptosis fraction and enhanced the subsequent apoptotic effects of CIS. The cellular uptake of CIS was significantly increased in the presence of RSVL, as compared with CIS treatment alone, and RSVL treatment sensitized the CIS‑resistant HCT‑116 cells. In conclusion, RSVL treatment increased the cytotoxic activity of CIS against the growth of both parent and CIS‑resistant HCT-116 CRC cells.
Resveratrol treatment rescues hyperleptinemia and improves hypothalamic leptin signaling programmed by maternal high-fat diet in rats.
PURPOSE: Perinatal high-fat diet is associated with obesity and metabolic diseases in adult offspring. Resveratrol has been shown to exert antioxidant and anti-obesity actions. However, the effects of resveratrol on leptinemia and leptin signaling are still unknown as well as whether resveratrol treatment can improve metabolic outcomes programmed by maternal high-fat diet. We hypothesize that resveratrol treatment in male rats programmed by high-fat diet would decrease body weight and food intake, and leptinemia with changes in central leptin signaling.
METHODS: Female Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control group (C), which received a standard diet containing 9 % of the calories as fat, and high-fat group (HF), which received a diet containing 28 % of the calories as fat. Dams were fed in C or HF diet during 8 weeks before mating and throughout gestation and lactation. C and HF male offspring received standard diet throughout life. From 150 until 180 days of age, offspring received resveratrol (30 mg/Kg body weight/day) or vehicle (carboxymethylcellulose).
RESULTS: HF offspring had increased body weight, hyperphagia and increased subcutaneous and visceral fat mass compared to controls, and resveratrol treatment decreased adiposity. HF offspring had increased leptinemia as well as increased SOCS3 in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, which suggest central leptin resistance. Resveratrol treatment rescued leptinemia and increased p-STAT3 content in the hypothalamus with no changes in SOCS3, suggesting improvement in leptin signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data suggest that resveratrol could reverse hyperleptinemia and improve central leptin action in adult offspring from HF mothers attenuating obesity.
Resveratrol is an important polyphenol, antioxidant, and Nrf2 activator that helps to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.