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Re-forming resveratrol: Bioavailability issues are no more as researchers reveal metabolites regenerate

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By Nathan Gray+

04-Jan-2013

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Metabolites from the break-down of resveratrol have been shown to come together and regenerate the compound inside living cells, leaving researchers questioning whether worries over bioavailability are relevant.

Researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK have found that molecules created when resveratrol is broken down in the body can come back together and regenerate the beneficial compound within living cells.

The discovery, initially reported at the Reveratrol 2012 conference, calls in to question whether bioavailability is a genuine issue for resveratrol, says Professor Karen Brown – who led the research study.

“A problem that is often stated for resveratrol is its poor bioavailability,” explained Brown. “It gets absorbed pretty well into the plasma, but once it gets absorbed it is metabolised very very quickly, so you get low levels of resveratrol in the plasma and you get high levels of sulphate and glucuronide metabolites.”

The researcher said people have wondered whether these metabolites have any health benefit, or whether that might even help to regenerate resveratrol ‘for years’. And now Brown and her team have an answer.

The team have found that these metabolites are able to enter living cells, where they re-form the larger resveratrol compound.

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Resveratrol bioavailability explained

Metabolized means resveratrol is attached to detoxification molecules sulfate and glucuronate, so this blocks resveratrol from entering cell walls. At the site of inflammation, infection or malignancy there is a very active enzyme called glucuronidase that unzips resveratrol from its carrier protein and renders it as free unbound resveratrol. So resveratrol is bioavailable at the right time and place. Researchers affiliated with a drug company started the myth that resveratrol is not bioavailable.

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Posted by Bill Sardi
05 January 2013 | 11h10

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