What does resveratrol do?
Resveratrol, a compound found primarily in red wine, is a naturally occurring antioxidant.
In test tube and animal studies, resveratrol decreased the "stickiness" of blood platelets and helped blood vessels remain open and flexible.1 2 3 A series of laboratory experiments suggested that resveratrol inhibits the development of cancer in animals and prevents the progression of cancer.4 In other animal studies, resveratrol was shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent.5 However, human research is still needed in all of these areas.
Where is resveratrol found?
Resveratrol is present in a wide variety of plants—of the edible plants, mainly in grapes and peanuts.6 Wine is the primary dietary source of resveratrol. Red wine contains much greater amounts of resveratrol than does white wine, since resveratrol is concentrated in the grape skin and the manufacturing process of red wine includes prolonged contact with grape skins. Resveratrol is also available as a dietary supplement.
Resveratrol has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient of resveratrol?
Since it is not an essential nutrient, resveratrol is not associated with a deficiency state.
How much resveratrol is usually taken?
An 8-ounce glass of red wine provides approximately 640 mcg of resveratrol, while a handful of peanuts provides about 73 mcg of resveratrol. Resveratrol supplements (often found in combination with grape extracts or other antioxidants) are generally taken in the amount of 200–600 mcg per day. This is far less than the amount used in animal studies to prevent cancer: equivalent to more than 500 mg (500,000 mcg) per day for an average-sized human. Therefore, one should not assume that the small amounts found in supplements or food would necessarily be protective. The optimal level of intake is not known.
While a moderate intake of red wine may protect against heart disease, the optimal amount required to produce this effect is still unknown. Due to the risks involved with drinking alcohol, drinking red wine cannot be recommended as a means of preventing heart disease until more information is known.
Are there any side effects or interactions with resveratrol?
No side effects have been reported with the use of resveratrol.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with resveratrol.