Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is resveratrol? Why do we need it?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in
a wide variety of plants. It helps to keep blood vessels remain
open and pliable and also helps to keep blood platelets from
aggregating, or clumping together.
Laboratory tests conducted on animals in 1997 suggest that
resveratrol can stop potentially cancerous tumors from forming
and prevent existing cancerous tumors from spreading; however,
these studies have yet to be conducted in humans. In another
series of animal studies conducted in 1997, resveratrol was
shown to inhibit acute and chronic inflammation.
How much resveratrol should I take?
While a recommended daily allowance has yet to be established,
researchers believe a minimum of 500 milligrams of resveratrol
should be taken to help reduce the risk of cancer. A glass
of red wine contains approximately 640 micrograms of resveratrol;
a handful of peanuts supplies nearly 75 micrograms.
What are some good sources of resveratrol?
What forms are available?
Grapes and peanuts are the two main food sources of resveratrol.
Resveratrol is concentrated in grape skin. Since the manufacturing
process of red wine includes prolonged contact with grape
skins, red wine contains far higher amounts of resveratrol
than white wine. Resveratrol supplements are also available;
they are usually found in combination with grape extracts
or other antioxidants.
What can happen if I don't
get enough resveratrol? What can happen if I take too much?
Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?
Since resveratrol is not classified as an essential nutrient,
no definitive deficiency or toxicity levels have been established.
At the time of this writing, there are no known adverse reactions
or drug interactions associated with resveratrol.
- Bertelli AA, Giovanninni
L, Bernini W, et al. Antiplatelet activity of cis-resveratrol.
Drugs Exp Clin Res 1996;22(2):613.
- Chen CK, Pace-Asciak CR.
Vasorelaxing activity of resveratrol and quercetin in isolated
rat aorta. Gen Pharm 1996;27(2):3636.
- Jang M, Cai L, Udeani
GO, et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol,
a natural product derived from grapes. Science 1997;275:21820.
- Pace-Asciak CR, Rounova
O, Hahn SE, et al. Wines and grape juices as modulators
of platelet aggregation in healthy human subjects. Clin
Chim Acta 1996;246(12):16382.
- Soleas GJ, Diamandis EP,
Goldberg DM. Resveratrol: A molecule whose time has come?
And gone? Clin Biochem 1997;30(2):91113.