The key to understanding the effects of Resveratrol on sex drive, and other sexually related issues, lies in the understanding of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. While testosterone hormones are associated with men, and estrogen with women, both men and women have levels of testosterone and estrogen in their bodies, albeit in different quantities.
Sex hormones are involved in sexual drive (or libido), and maintenance and repair of reproductive tissues. They are also involved in body growth, body tissue, body mass, and bone mass.
Testosterone in men is highest in their teenage years, and gradually decreases over time. What is not generally understood, is that an increase in estrogen can also occur over a man's lifetime, which further contributes to a decrease in testosterone. This phase in a man's life is sometimes referred to as "male menopause."
Decreased levels of testosterone, and increased levels of estrogen, can lead to numerous problems including reduced muscle mass, decreased strength, increased body fat storage, fatigue, erectile dysfunction and, of course, reduced sex drive. These hormonal changes have also been linked to prostate cancer and heart disease.
Decreasing estrogen levels can lead directly to an increase in testosterone levels. Here's where Resveratrol enters the picture. Resveratrol has been scientifically shown to act as an anti-estrogen (antagonist) lowering estrogen levels in men, and may even block excess testosterone from turning into estrogen. The result – improved muscle, mass, strength, less body fat, and of course an increase in sex drive.
Estrogen is an entire class of hormones including estriol, estradiol and estrone. Estriol is primarily needed during pregnancy. Estradiol affects female characteristics, and gynecologic issues. Estrone is widespread through the body, and is generally the only estrogen hormone present after women reach menopause.
During menopause – which begins at an average age of 50 years old -women's levels of estrogen decrease, and these levels are associated with a variety of overall health issues. Women can experience symptoms including depression, dryness of vaginal lining, "hot flashes", and reduced sex drive.
In women, a substantial amount of research has shown that estrogen metabolism is strongly associated with hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer. Estrogen, via its binding to the estrogen receptor, plays an important role in breast cancer cell proliferation and tumor development.
Resveratrol and Menopause
Taking resveratrol has many beneficial effects for menopausal women, as it helps in alleviating menopausal symptoms and anticipating some degenerative diseases. In one clinical trial, postmenopausal women received trans-resveratrol for six months experienced increased bone mineral content and bone density.
Other studies with resveratrol indicate that Resveratrol inhibits the activity of aromatase. This enzyme is found in high concentration in malignant breast tumors. In fact, Resveratrol inhibits the conversion of estrogen and decrees the synthesis of the aromatase enzyme, thus indicating that it may support the health of individuals concerned about breast cancer.
Balancing estrogen and testosterone levels is essential for optimizing overall health in both women and men, and resveratrol has been proven to have positive effects on women and men.