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You Ask, I Answer: Resveratrol

Posted Aug 26 2008 1:00pm
What is your view on resveratrol ? Are you opposed or open to the idea of taking resveratrol daily for its alleged significant benefits?

-- Guy Betterbid

New York, NY

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in significant quantities in the skins of red grapes and, subsequently, in red wine.

The popular "French paradox" claims that one reason why French adults have lower rates of cardiovascular disease despite consuming a high-fat diet is due to their consistent consumption of red wine.

Touted by some as an anti-cancer agent, resveratrol (which is actually produced by plants' immune systems when attacked by certain bacteria or fungi) soon became a hot supplement.

I personally wouldn't recommend you rush out to GNC and start buying it, though.

I am always skeptical when one component of a food (in this case, resveratrol -- found in grapes, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) is isolated and expected to function the same way as when it is accompanied in its original packaging (in this case, an actual grape).

Remember that supplements are not regulated by any agency. Studies have shown that the amount of concentrated resveratrol is supplements widely ranges from one company to another.

There truly isn't enough research of this supplement on humans to recommend it. In fact, there are no long-term studies , and the short-term ones performed on rats appear to show that high concentrations of resveratrol might overwork the liver.

You're better off having a handful of grapes or berries every day (or, if you already drink, having a glass of red wine every day) to get your share of resveratrol.
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