Resveratrol: Pro-Health Anti-Aging Miracle?

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a substance found in wine and other products derived from grapes. It also occurs in peanuts, certain berries, some pine trees, and Japanese knotweed.

Researchers increasingly show that resveratrol is responsible for the anti-aging and pro-health impact of certain wines and grape products. Studies have found that it lowers heart disease and blood clotting risks, boosts the immune system, blocks insulin resistance, and impedes the development of obesity.  

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It’s also been shown to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. Increasing research has found resveratrol appears to extend lifespan in trials involving yeast, roundworms, fruit flies, fish, mice, rats, dogs, and monkeys. The mechanisms involved appear to include the SIRT1 gene which is also found in humans. Therefore researchers speculate resveratrol may cause similar effects in humans. However, very few human studies involving resveratrol have been done to date.

Appropriate Resveratrol Dosage

Many products containing resveratrol only contain 1mg to 30mg. 20mg is about the same amount that was found in a liter French red wines prior to the introduction of pesticides that lowered the resveratrol content. Given the “French paradox” in which French people who eat high fat diets with significant intake of red wine had far lower rates of heart disease compared to other populations consuming high fat diets without wine, resveratrol was suspected to be involved. 20mg per day is believed to be enough to have some beneficial effect on human health yet also be safe. However, some advocate taking 250mg or more of resveratrol per day to realize the full effects of the supplement.

Extrapolating some mice and rat studies would imply that several thousand milligrams of resveratrol would be needed per day to get similar results.  But no such human studies have been completed, and nobody knows if dosages in that range for humans are safe or for that matter any more effective than lower ones. Meanwhile, there are companies and folks advocating people take 1500mg or more per day.

What’s the real answer?  For now, it’s likely that nobody really knows.  Dosages up to 300mg per day have been found to be safe for humans, however.  And generally speaking, the more a person weighs, the higher the dosage that is appropriate.  So for now, we think that 200mg to 400mg per day is probably a safe dosage with reasonable likelihood of beneficial effect until further research can clarify this matter.

Resveratrol Sources

One of the best sources we’ve found for relatively inexpensive resveratrol comes from NOW Foods.  The NOW Foods 200mg Resveratrol capsules delivers a high dosage of 200mg in one convenient capsule with 60 or 120 capsules per bottle.

Further Reading

Life Extension Foundation: Growing Evidence Links Resveratrol to Extended Life Span

Life Extension Foundation: Living Longer, Healthier Lives with Resveratrol

Consumers Being Misled Over Bioavailabity of Resveratrol

New York Times: Yes, Red Wine Holds Answer. Check Dosage.

ABC News: New Longevity Drugs Poised to Tackle Diseases of Aging

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