Resveratrol, extracted from grapes, blueberries, and many types of nuts, is enjoying a boost in popularity these days. It has many purported health and anti-aging benefits. Many different brands of resveratrol supplements are on the market, and some of the more unscrupulous manufacturers make disease-fighting claims that are expressly forbidden by the FDA- and their claims are backed up by dubious scientific research. As of today, there aren’t any known human studies on resveratrol supplementation, only anecdotal evidence gleaned from personal accounts of red wine drinkers.
Scientists know that resveratrol, once it’s exposed to heat, air and light, will degrade rapidly. This will decrease its health benefits, because only trans-resveratrol activates the SiRT1 gene that repairs DNA (a great anti-aging benefit!) Most supplements sold today contain high amounts of degraded resveratrol, making them mostly ineffective. One brand claims that it gives 400 mg. of red wine extract per pill- but “red wine extract” is just powdered red grapes, and it only provides about 1 mg of resveratrol per serving. Like a lot of other dietary supplements, resveratrol loses potency when it’s exposed to the elements, and it must be carefully preserved- through encapsulation and proper storage.
Resveratrol will undoubtedly enjoy a long period of popularity, but when it comes to getting “the real deal”, trans-resveratrol, it can be a game of trial and error. Do your research, and pick the one that gives you the most bang for your buck.