It was Paracelsus, the Renaissance physician (1493-1541 A.D.) who first said "the dose makes the poison." So, you can drink too much wine, or ingest too much resveratrol, but in an unprecedented study, heart researchers report they couldn't find a toxic dose for Longevinex, a resveratrol-based dietary supplement.
Investigators previously reported that six or more glasses of red wine per day actually increase the risk, whereas 3-5 glasses per day optimally reduce risk for cardiac death. This is the well-known J-shaped risk curve (risk goes down, then up with excessive dose) that has been documented for both red wine and resveratrol.
North Americans who abstain from drinking wine have higher mortality rates for coronary heart disease (~240 per 100,000), making red wine and resveratrol pills tantalizing for those individuals who wish to reduce their risk for a mortal heart attack (~90 per 100,000 for wine drinkers).
The drawback here is that consumption of 3-5 glasses of red wine a day approaches the point of inebriation. Health seekers who wish to avoid the undesirable effects of alcohol may be led to try resveratrol pills, which if taken in mega-doses, could be potentially toxic to the heart.
In an animal experiment that surprised researchers, circulation was blocked to excised animal hearts and it was unexpectedly found that Longevinex® exhibited cardio-protection (minimized damage to heart muscle) over a wide dosage range 100 to 7000 milligrams human equivalent dosage --- whereas 1750 mg of plain resveratrol increases damage to the heart and 3500 milligrams stops ("kills") an excised mouse heart in the laboratory every time. The study is published in a recent issue of Experimental & Clinical Cardiology.
Incredulous researchers, at first puzzled by the results of their animal experiment with mice, continued to increase the human equivalent dosage up to 7000 mg, prolonged the duration of the study up to six months, and even administered Longevinex to another animal species, rabbits, with the same results.
Resveratrol antioxidant or pro-oxidant?
In prior animal studies it has been shown that as dosage increases resveratrol shifts from being an antioxidant to a pro-oxidant (promotes oxidation) it binds to copper at low doses and releases copper at high doses. Longevinex® exhibited no such toxicity. This remarkable range of safety for any resveratrol-based product has never been demonstrated before.
Animal studies show plain resveratrol is optimally cardio-protective at human-equivalent dose of 100-175 mg and begins to lose its protective effects in a dose as low as 350 mg. Published studies confirm that low-dose resveratrol, particularly when combined with other synergistic small molecules from nature as provided in Longevinex®, works better in animal hearts than mega doses.
While this is the first time a resveratrol pill has been demonstrated to exhibit an L-shaped risk curve (risk goes down and stays down at all tested doses), this does not imply that mega-dose Longevinex® is totally without side effect at all doses, says Bill Sardi, spokesperson for Longevinex®. Consumers should refer to the product label which describes recommended dosage range and potential side effects with resveratrol pills, Sardi says.
Researchers indicate low-dose resveratrol protects the heart from damage should a heart attack occur, while "plain resveratrol should only be used at lower doses as opposite effects can occur higher doses, resulting in adverse effects on health."
Longevinex® is the first branded resveratrol product to show true evidence for cardio-protection (i.e. laboratory animals survive an otherwise mortal heart attack) In another recently published paper Longevinex® was also shown to restore a near-normal gene activation profile to excised animal hearts subjected to an intentional heart attack.
Red wine drinkers in France have a very low rate of cardiovascular mortality. There are more centenarians per capita in France than any other country. The idea of creating a red wine pill that mimics the beneficial effects of red wine without side effects has advanced one step closer with Longevinex®.
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