The market for supplements is growing rapidly. The hope that these products can contribute to slowing down the aging process or alleviating its symptoms attracts many a nutrition enthusiast. If you're one of them, you have probably heard of a popular substance called resveratrol.
This plant compound is found in wine, berries, and other foods. Belonging to the class of polyphenols, it was considered an ace up the sleeve of the fight against the passage of time for many years. However, this supplement has not been spared the controversy that surrounds this type of products. Are you ready to learn more about it?
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our Selection: The Best Resveratrol Supplements
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Resveratrol
- 4.1 What is resveratrol exactly?
- 4.2 What are the characteristics of resveratrol supplements?
- 4.3 What are the antioxidant benefits of resveratrol?
- 4.4 Are resveratrol supplements beneficial to blood circulation?
- 4.5 What other benefits do resveratrol supplements offer?
- 4.6 What precautions should I take with resveratrol?
- 5 Buyer's Guide
- 6 Summary
- Resveratrol is a compound with potential antioxidant properties.
- It became popular thanks to its presence in red wine, to which it supposedly confers anti-aging attributes.
- Before you purchase your next resveratrol supplement, think about your dietary restrictions, the origin of the molecule, and its value for money.
Our Selection: The Best Resveratrol Supplements
In the section below, you will discover our very own selection of the most popular resveratrol supplements currently available out there. We have focused our choice on highly rated products that also offer great value for money. You can read more about each one in the description, and don't hesitate to contact the manufacturer if you have any doubts.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Resveratrol
What is resveratrol exactly?
In vitro (in a controlled environment such as a test tube), resveratrol has demonstrated its ability to eliminate free oxygen radicals released during cellular reactions. This could slow down the oxidation of body cells, helping to mitigate the effects of premature aging.
Rigorous clinical trials must be carried out to discern whether the in vitro effects of resveratrol translate into real benefit for humans. Most of the data gathered so far issues from investigations on animals. These experiments have proven the potential of resveratrol in the following fields (2):
- Cardioprotection: In animal studies, resveratrol has been able to exert a protective function on normal heart activity, minimizing damage from inflammation and accelerating recovery from myocardial injuries.
- Neuroprotection: The antioxidant effects of resveratrol go as far as neuronal tissue, where they may protect against the degeneration of brain tissue. This reduces the frequency of occurrence of degenerative diseases similar to Parkinson's or Alzheimer's in the animals studied.
- Antiinflammation: Research has demonstrated that resveratrol could play an anti-inflammatory role, especially on the cells of the gastric mucosa. This may improve food absorption, relieve gastrointestinal discomfort, and prevent the development of tumors and other diseases.
- Antisepsis: Plant species that produce resveratrol utilize this substance as an active antimicrobial agent. During in vitro studies, this molecule is effective in preventing the growth of pathogenic fungi and bacteria, with a possible antiseptic and antibiotic potential.
- Anti-androgen: The increase of male hormones in women has been linked to the appearance of polycystic ovary syndrome. In animal subjects, resveratrol was able to reduce the concentrations of ovarian androgens, which has led some experts to wonder whether this molecule could be a valid treatment for this condition.
There has been no set recommended daily allowance for resveratrol, although it is estimated that a balanced diet provides approximately 0.2 mg per day. The main source of this antioxidant is wine (or its non-alcoholic alternative, must), although it is found in other foods such as blueberries, peanuts, and cocoa (3):
|Food||Resveratrol content (approximate maximum)|
|Wine (1 liter)||14 mg|
|Must (1 liter)||14 mg|
|Dried grapes (100 grams)||0.65 mg|
|Fresh grapes (100 grams)||0.35 mg|
|Cranberry (100 grams)||0.6 mg|
|Peanuts (100 grams)||0.2 mg|
|Pure cocoa (100 grams)||0.2 mg|
|Cranberry juice (1 liter)||0.2 mg|
|Dark chocolate (100 grams)||0.04 mg|
What are the characteristics of resveratrol supplements?
- Composition: They come from extracts of the Japanese plant Fallopia japonica, from beer yeast fungus (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), or grape skin.
- Recommended age: Their use is indicated for adults over the age of 18.
- Athletes and doping: While resveratrol isn't registered as a prohibited substance, you should consult the relevant official body before taking it for competitive sport (4).
- Calories: Resveratrol supplements are compatible with low-calorie diets.
- Combination with alcohol: There are no known side effects for the combination of alcohol and resveratrol supplements. However, high wine consumption may increase blood levels of this antioxidant and predispose to excessive intake.
- Effects on blood sugar: Supplementing with resveratrol may lower blood sugar levels, which is why diabetic individuals undergoing anti-hyperglycemic treatment should be cautious (5).
- Effects on driving ability: Studies have not found any data indicating that resveratrol supplements may affect reflexes or the ability to operate heavy machinery. That being said, you are advised to test a new supplement and rule out any side effects before driving or performing potentially hazardous tasks.
This antioxidant is available in liquid form (with a dropper), capsules (hard or soft), tablets (coated or plain), and powder (to be mixed with beverages). In the medical field, nasal resveratrol sprays are also being developed to relieve the symptoms of rhinitis or hay fever in adults and children.
What are the antioxidant benefits of resveratrol?
|Country, year||Type of study||Objective||Dose||Results|
|Italy, 2013||Clinical trial (50 adults) (6)||Effects on oxidative stress in smokers||500 mg/day (resveratrol)|| Reduction of inflammatory markers.
Reduction of oxidative stress.
|USA, 2011||Clinical trial (10 adults ) (7)||Effects on oxidative stress of a diet rich in fats and carbohydrates||100 mg/day (resveratrol and other polyphenols)|| Reduction of inflammatory markers.
Increased synthesis of new antioxidant molecules.
|Hungary, 2011||Clinical trial (19 adults) (8)||Antioxidant effect in diabetic individuals||5 mg twice daily (resveratrol)|| Reduction of oxidative stress markers.
Increased insulin sensitivity.
|USA, 2010||Clinical trial (10 adults) (9)||Antioxidant effect in healthy people||40 mg/day (resveratrol)||Reduction of inflammatory markers.|
Despite the relatively small size of the studies (less than 50 participants), researchers have found a positive relationship between resveratrol supplementation and a decrease in the concentration of free radicals, the waste products of human metabolism closely linked to the occurrence of degenerative diseases.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are more striking in individuals exposed to elements that produce an effect of free radicals, such as tobacco, diets rich in processed foods, or glucose intolerance. However, several doctors and scientists call these findings into question.
Are resveratrol supplements beneficial to blood circulation?
|Country, year||Type of study||Objective||Dose||Results|
|Hungary, 2012||Clinical trial (40 adults) (13)||Discerning cardioprotective effect after myocardial infarction||10 mg/day (resveratrol)|| Significant improvement of myocardial function.
Lowering of LDL cholesterol.
Reduction of blood coagulation.
|Netherlands, 2011||Clinical trial (30 adults) (14)||Effects on metabolism in obese males||150 mg/day (resveratrol)|| Reduction of blood pressure.
Increase in calories burned at rest.
|UK, 2010||Clinical trial (22 adults)||Effect on cerebral circulation||250 and 500 mg/day (resveratrol)||Increase in cerebral blood flow|
Resveratrol supplements may speed up the recovery of normal myocardial function in individuals who survive a heart attack. In addition, they may mitigate the effect of specific risk factors in obese males. Unfortunately, their influence on cerebral circulation doesn't seem to translate into increased mental performance (15).
Many people wonder whether resveratrol's effect on blood flow could be useful for the treatment of varicose veins, an aesthetic and functional problem that mainly affects women. Unfortunately, no quality research has supported this hypothesis as of yet.
What other benefits do resveratrol supplements offer?
- Reduction of blood glucose levels
- Increase in insulin sensitivity
- Reduction of total insulin levels
- Regulation of the hepatic hormones
- Decrease in triglyceride levels
- Hearing protection
As you can see, this antioxidant could be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and decrease the insulin resistance of overweight individuals, therefore improving the state of their metabolism. In animal studies, this substance also appears to protect hearing cells from sound and toxic trauma.
We have not been able to confirm any other benefits attributed to resveratrol supplements. It doesn't appear to be useful for accelerating weight loss or boosting physical performance. However, resveratrol could be more effective in improving cholesterol and sugar levels regardless of physical activity (15).
What precautions should I take with resveratrol?
- Specific antibiotics
- Any substance that relies on the liver for its metabolism
Resveratrol can also affect the blood clotting process, which is why its use with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs must be under strict medical supervision. Chronically ill individuals, minors, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult a health specialist before starting resveratrol supplementation.
Consumption of large amounts of resveratrol may cause little-known side effects. The most serious known consequence is a reduction in blood cell counts with supplementation of 450 mg, three times a day over six months (20). Other side effects may include (18):
- Abdominal pain
- Increased bilirubin levels
- Changes in bowel habit
- Disruption of kidney function
- Alteration of hormonal balance
The relationship between resveratrol supplements and cancer diseases is even more critical. While this antioxidant could be a potential ally against these illnesses, its mechanism of action is still unknown (21). This is why it shouldn't be used as a treatment for cancer yet. In fact, you should not ingest it during chemotherapy treatment without prior medical authorization.
A quality resveratrol supplement may be harder to find than you initially thought. To get your hands on the right product, you will need to evaluate factors such as the molecular formula and the possible presence of additional supplements – without neglecting your budget, of course. In the section below, we have detailed these critical shopping criteria.
The fact that resveratrol has a vegetable origin means that you can easily find vegan-friendly supplements. In any case, have a look at the composition of the capsules, as gelatin can sometimes contain animal products. If you are gluten-intolerant or hypersensitive to other allergens, carefully examine the list of ingredients before you make your purchase.
You are advised to opt for resveratrol supplements containing this molecule in its most bioavailable (trans) form. This type of formula promotes intestinal absorption and allows a greater amount of resveratrol to reach your blood, this producing its potentially antioxidant effects (26).
Resveratrol can be sold in combination with other substances, such as vitamins or plant extracts. Depending on what you want to achieve with supplementation, different blends may be suitable for you. Here is a list of the most popular ones:
- Resveratrol and collagen: These products are tailored to people looking to improve the tone and texture of their skin.
- Resveratrol and melatonin: This combination is ideal for those who want to maintain a healthy intellectual function (27).
- Resveratrol and turmeric: This supplement blend provides higher antioxidant potential than both products separately (28).
- Resveratrol and OPC: Grape extract supplements generally contain both of these compounds. When associate, their antioxidant power could potentially be multiplied (29).
We have finally unveiled the great secret of the French diet, and it is available in capsule form or as a drinkable supplement. While resveratrol was once dubbed a life-prolonging remedy, scientific research has clipped the wings of this beloved polyphenol. But fear not! This supplement still has a lot to offer you.
The best way to live longer is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. However, if you want to restore your skin's glow or counter the harm done by your fast-food diet, resveratrol will give you a smoother complexion and improve your metabolic control. Are you ready to give it a go?
We hope that you found our shopping guide on resveratrol helpful and informative. If so, feel free to share this article on your social media. Don't hesitate to reach out to us by leaving a comment in the section below!
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