What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that is produced by some plants to protect against environmental stresses. It is more commonly known, however, as the active ingredient in red wine that protects against heart disease. Resveratrol very likely has more health benefits than protecing against heart disease however. According to Australian researcher Lindsay Brown, the author an upcoming Resveratrol study, "The breadth of benefits [of resveratrol] is remarkable – cancer prevention, protection of the heart and brain from damage, reducing age-related diseases such as inflammation, reversing diabetes and obesity, and many more...

Sources of Resveratrol

Pills & Powders Pills and powders containing resveratrol are available in a wide range of styles and qualities. While some are nearly 100% pure trans-resveratrol (the form of resveratrol that activates sirtuins) others may be as little as 10% pure. Further, some companies sell pure resveratrol in a micronized form, which increases its absorption into the body (Micronization is the process of greatly reducing the average particle size of a compound). What is more, some resveratrol pills and powers are sold in combination with additional ingredients such as quercetin, pterostilbene, rice bran, grape seed, grape extract, and red wine extract. Currently, most resveratrol products are derived from polygonum cuspidatum (a.k.a. Japanese knotweed) - a plant native to eastern Asia..

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Resveratrol Dosage

The optimum dosage of resveratrol is still being determined by science. It is likely dependent on several factors such as body weight, the purpose of the resveratrol regimen (e.g. disease prevention, disease treatment, increased endurance, or mental clarity), method of consumption (e.g. orally, buccally) formulation of the resveratrol (e.g. pills, powders, combination with other compounds or emulsions), other supplements, drugs, or foods consumed by the person, and perhaps even sex, ethnicity, and age.

Resveratrol Side Effects

According to tests conducted by Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, human subjects experienced no serious side effects or dose-related side effects when taking 2.5 grams or 5 grams of resveratrol per day for 28 days. Further, the Environmental Protection Agency considers resveratrol to be non toxic and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences commissioned a study that found “adverse affects of resveratrol have not been reported” and “a …dosage of 5-10 Mg… per day was stated to be entirely safe.” But while resveratrol appears safe for short term use, even at high doses (e.g. 2.5 to 5 grams/day), there are still unknowns about the long term side effects of high dose resveratrol. (Note: low doses of resveratrol have been consumed in wine and other natural foods for thousands of years – see the Sources of Resveratrol tab).

Current Resveratrol Studies

Does Resveratrol Help Treat Colon Cancer? This study intends to discover whether resveratrol can be used to help treat colon cancer.  Previous studies indicate resveratrol kills colon cancer cells and that red wine is linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer.  For more information on this study please click Here.
Does Resveratrol Treat Alzheimer's Disease? This study intends to determine whether resveratrol given as a dietary supplement will help treat adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.  Numerous studies have indicated that resveratrol may help to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease.  Click Here for more.
Does Resveratrol Improve Mental Performance? This study seeks to determine whether resveratrol improves mental performance.  Previous studies indicate resveratrol improves human performance on cognative tests.  The theory behind this is that resveratrol increases blood flow to the brain.  Click Here  to read more.

Featured Blog Post

Resveratrol: From Mice to Humans Thursday, August 12th, 2010 12:27 pm

When Harvard scientists revealed to the world in late 2006 that resveratrol can extend the lives of mice on high fat diets and double the endurance of normally fed mice, the media entered into a feeding frenzy. The idea of a compound that allows someone to eat whatever they want, doubles their endurance, and extends their lives was a story for the ages. And the fact that the compound was found in red wine just added fuel to the flames. Cooler heads in the scientific community, however, cautioned that the Harvard studies were conducted on mice – not humans - and that many studies that are promising in mouse models do not transfer over to humans. Many advised that resveratrol supplementation was potentially a waste of money until its effectiveness could be proved in humans. Further, they stated that one would have to consume ‘handfuls of pills’ to gain the type of benefits experienced by the mice.


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Resveratrol Properties