Las Vegas, NV /PRNewswire/ — With the realization that half of the people experiencing a sudden mortal heart attack were taking aspirin on the day of their demise, researchers have begun to search for a more reliable alternative, and they may have found it in a red wine molecule called resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-trawl).
Researchers at the University of Connecticut induced heart attacks in animals and found resveratrol significantly reduces damage to heart muscle. Scarring and fibrosis were limited and the animals survived an otherwise mortal event.
Dipak Das, Ph.D., Sc.D., MD (hon), professor and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut, School of Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut, says resveratrol provokes a "pre-conditioning effect" whereby antioxidant defenses in the heart are switched on prior to a heart attack, therefore limiting damage to heart muscle should such an event occur.
Das says: "Resveratrol likely fulfills the definition of a pharmacological preconditioning compound and gives hope for the therapeutic promise of alternative medicine."1 Das goes on to say resveratrol's preconditioning effect is "the best yet devised method of cardioprotection."2
The dosage of resveratrol is critical in producing the pre-conditioning effect – Dr. Das found the human equivalent dosage of 175-350 milligrams reduced damage to the heart during a heart attack, while ten times greater dose (1750-3500 mg) increased the area of damaged cardiac tissue.
A branded resveratrol pill, Longevinex® (www.longevinex.com
) , was found to afford the same level of protection at a much lower dose – 100 milligrams of resveratrol, which may be due to its micronized, micronencapsulated delivery system and combination with other antioxidants (quercetin, rice bran, vitamin D and ferulic acid).
Since resveratrol also thins the blood and inhibits clots that form in coronary arteries in a similar fashion to aspirin, and exhibits other beneficial properties, such as anti-adhesion factors that inhibit plaque from sticking to artery walls, it may be superior to aspirin.
Wine consumption is also believed to afford similar protection for the heart. The red wine-drinking French exhibit a coronary heart disease mortality rate that is extremely low – 90 per 100,000 versus 240 per 100,000 in North America.
The amount of resveratrol in 3 to 5 glasses of red wine is only about 3-5 milligrams, but the heart protective effect is believed to be produced by the total polyphenolic molecules in a glass of dark, aged red wine, ~60 milligrams per 5-ounce glass. The optimal health benefit derived from red wine is achieved at a consumption level of 3-5 glasses, which would be considerably more expensive than a resveratrol pill, and certainly pose the problem of inebriation.
The heart preconditioning effect of resveratrol is produced by the natural release of adenosine, which is actually employed as a drug to restore natural heart rhythm.
An online documentary film, featuring an interview with Dr. Das, is available for viewing at http://www.resveratrolcentral.com/aspirinresveratrol/.
Background Information: resveratrol/ Longevinex® pill as alternative to aspirin
- It has been widely known that modest impairment of circulation to the heart for a short duration pre-conditions cardiac tissues to withstand a full-blown myocardial infarction (heart attack). Since this discovery, the search for a pre-conditioning agent has been on the minds of many researchers.
- The primary target group for an oral preconditioning agent is adults over age 55 as 96% of all deaths from ischemic heart disease (lack of oxygen supply to the heart) occur among adults age 55 and over. A smaller but more targeted group for a preconditioning agent would be adults with prior heart attack. About half of all cardiovascular deaths occur in individuals with a previous myocardial infarction or stroke. In people with a previous heart attack or a stroke, without any treatment, cardiovascular disease mortality is about 5% per year for life. 3
- Pre-clinical studies in animals (University of Connecticut, unpublished) reveals that resveratrol is such a pre-conditioning agent and that Longevinex®, a resveratrol-based nutriceutical, appears to exert similar protection at a far lower and safer dose.
- Daily aspirin isn't advised for people who have a low risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
- About 8 first heart attacks were prevented for every 1,000 men who took aspirin. However, aspirin doesn't lower the chance of a heart attack in women.4 Aspirin only reduces the risk of a second mortal heart attack by about 10%.5
- According to authoritative studies, aspirin reduces the risk of a heart attack by about 50 percent.6
- It does so by thinning the blood and inhibiting blood clots in any of the four coronary arteries.
- The best use of aspirin may be its availability at the time of angina or a heart attack. An aspirin tablet may not be available at the onset of a heart attack.7
- Even with all the positive information about aspirin therapy, the absolute risk for stroke or heart attacks among patients receiving aspirin therapy remains relatively high, 8-18% after two years. [Rev Cardiovascular Medicine 5:156-63, 2004] But about half the people who will experience a heart attack are daily aspirin users.
- Attention is given to the cost effectiveness of aspirin. It takes over 2 million aspirin tablets, or $160,000 of pills, to prevent just one heart attack.
- Approximately 1 in 15 individuals will experience an aspirin-induced complication and 1 in 556 individuals will die.8
- Aspirin does significantly reduce the relative risk for all-cause death among coronary artery disease patients (0.80 relative risk compared to placebo, ~20% relative risk reduction) but also increases the risk for major bleeding episodes (hemorrhagic stroke) by 1.87.9
- In 1999 it was first reported that resveratrol and quercetin, two molecules commonly found in red wine, produce increased adenosine levels in blood plasma and may serve as preconditioning agents.10
- In subsequent animal experiments, resveratrol was shown to increase adenosine availability and to improve recovery following a heart attack.11
- Dipak Das of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine has gone on to describe resveratrol preconditioning effect as opposed to the direct action of conventional pharmaceutic agents.
- Das says: "Resveratrol likely fulfills the definition of a pharmacological preconditioning compound and gives hope for the therapeutic promise of alternative medicine."12 Das goes on to say resveratrol's preconditioning effect is "the best yet devised method of cardioprotection."13
1. Das S, Das DK, Resveratrol: a therapeutic promise for cardiovascular diseases. Recent Pat Cardiovasc Drug Discov. 2007 Jun; 2(2):133-8.
2. Das DK, Maulik N, Resveratrol in cardioprotection: a therapeutic promise of alternative medicine. Mol Interv. 2006 Feb; 6(1):36-47.
3. Wald NJ, Law MR, A strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 80%. BMJ 2003 Jun 28; 326(7404):1419.
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7. Chin Hur, Lee S Simon, and G Scott Gazelle, Analysis of Aspirin-Associated Risks in Healthy Individuals. Annals Pharmacotherapy 39:51-7, 2004.
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10. Blardi P, De Lalla A, Volpi L, Di Perri T, Stimulation of endogenous adenosine release by oral administration of quercetin and resveratrol in man. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1999; 25(2-3):105-10.
11. Bradamante S, Piccinini F, Barenghi L, et al, Does resveratrol induce pharmacological preconditioning? Int J Tissue React. 2000; 22(1):1-4.
12. Das S, Das DK, Resveratrol: a therapeutic promise for cardiovascular diseases. Recent Pat Cardiovasc Drug Discov. 2007 Jun; 2(2):133-8.
13. Das DK, Maulik N, Resveratrol in cardioprotection: a therapeutic promise of alternative medicine. Mol Interv. 2006 Feb; 6(1):36-47.