Is there any advantage in taking resveratrol supplements?
Resveratrol has a host of benefits:
Resveratrol is a
powerful anti-oxidant found in small amounts in red wine, Japanese knotweed (polygonum
cuspidatum), the skin of red grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries,
raspberries, jackfruit, pomegranate, peanuts and cocoa.
It is made up of two compounds - Trans-Resveratrol and Cis-Resveratrol
- only Trans-Resveratrol has been demonstrated to have positive health
benefits. These health benefits were found using amounts far beyond that found in our diet, hence the need for supplements.
Longevity – A calorie restricted diet is a well-established method of extending lifespan and reducing diseases associated with aging. Resveratrol mimics calorie restriction but without hunger. It also increases the production of a protein called SIRT1, which seems to be associated with increased lifespan.
Weight Loss – It can help to reduce the cravings people have and can act as an effective appetite suppressant. This makes it an excellent weight loss product .
Cell protection– Free radicals in the body damage cells and are thought to be a key element in aging. Antioxidants protect the cells from free radicals and resveratrol is a powerful anti-oxidant.
Heart Protection – resveratrol lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and improves blood circulation. Resveratrol can act as an agent to thin the blood, helping to reduce the risk of clots, suppressing damage to the various blood vessels, and reducing the aggregation of platelets.
Diabetes– In a recent study, patients showed significant improvements in insulin sensitivity after being administered resveratrol supplements. According to a report in the ‘Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences’ ‘It seems quite possible that resveratrol, alone or in combination with current anti-diabetic therapies, will be used in preventing and treating diabetes’
Cancer– Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit a number of cancers in vitro (i.e. in a test tube), including prostate cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, liver cancer, brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer, and lymphoma. It selectively targets and destroys cancer cells.
Alzheimer’s – resveratrol has been put forward as a possible aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease because it promotes the formation of nerve cells, and thus could potentially be a factor in the treatment of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Arthritis – In animal experiments resveratrol protected cartilage against the progression of inflammatory arthritis and reduced synovial lining inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis
Energy & Endurance Increase –By improving the mitochondria in your body at a cellular level, resveratrol supplements affect how much energy your body produces. If your muscles are able to use oxygen more efficiently then you will be able to handle more intense and longer activities/workouts. Resveratrol supplements do this by activating enzymes that help muscles use oxygen more effectively.
Skin Improvement – resveratrol supplements can improve the elasticity and smoothness of the skin
Doseage - It has also been shown that as dosage increases resveratrol shifts from being an antioxidant to a pro-oxidant (promotes oxidation) and causes oxidative breakage of cellular DNA. Animal studies show resveratrol can protect the heart at a human-equivalent dose of 100-175 mg and begins to lose its protective effects in a dose as low as 350 mg. Published studies confirm that low-dose resveratrol works better in animal hearts whereas mega-dose resveratrol (1750—3500 milligrams/day) promoted cell death and worsens the amount of tissue damage when a heart attack is chemically induced.
Many resveratrol supplements are high potency and this is a case of more is not necessarily better or put another way ‘less is more’. Studies have put the correct dosage at 20mg – 500mg per day. However 50mg to 100mg seems to provide a protective effect and as can be seen above going beyond 350mg can be detrimental.
Deceptive practices – There are around 300-400 resveratrol supplements on the market. Some good, some not so good. If you see any supplements being sold that are associated with the following practices…stay away from them.
Here are a few of the worst practices:
When you use your credit card to pay ‘just for shipping’ as part of your free trial you are actually signing up to be auto-shipped the product each month at a cost of $50-$100 and it is almost impossible to stop it. Don’t fall for any free resveratrol offers.
Although Oprah and Dr. Oz are supporters of resveratrol supplementation they have never endorsed any products and are actively pursuing law suits against a number of companies for using their names. Also any resveratrol supplement that places photos of celebrities near their product (implying that they use them) should also be shunned. Just think about it. Celebrities charge a fortune to endorse a product and it is unlikely that the resveratrol companies could afford them.
Resveratrol has a lot of potential and human trials are starting to demonstrate definite health benefits but there is a long way to go. Anecdotally, there are many people finding great benefits in using Resveratrol but while it has not been proven to cure any disease in humans it may assist the body to be able to fight a number of diseases. The clinical studies (in humans) are not in yet. Also claims that you will lose large amounts of weight in a few weeks are not sustainable. Ignore sites like that.
Also aim to buy from a genuine company that manufacture their own product (with a genuine address and phone number) and have quality control in place and a good reputation.