Focun On: Resveratrol

What it is, why we need it, and where to find it.

WHAT IT IS: Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol antioxidant produced within various plants, especially fruits with dark red skin, such as red grapes. As with all antioxidants, resveratrol protects cells from free-radical damage. Since our bodies cannot produce resveratrol naturally, it’s important to replenish our supplies.

Benefits

Resveratrol has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and thus improve heart health. In laboratory settings, resveratrol has weakened human cancer cells. However, more studies are yet to be done to discover proper dosage and effectiveness. While the complete benefits of resveratrol are in dispute, it is known that resveratrol protects the lining of blood vessels, allowing better cardiologic function.

Natural Sources

Resveratrol is found in grapes, red grape juice, red wine, peanut butter, and raw and boiled peanuts. Bilberries, blueberries, and cranberries also contain resveratrol, but not nearly as much as red grapes, which contain 0.24 to 1.25 mg per cup. Red wine contains a higher concentration of resveratrol per serving than any other food. Since over- consumption of alcoholic beverages, including wine, is linked to heart damage, it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that women drink only one glass of red wine per day, and men, two glasses.

Recommended Dosage

At the present moment, there is no ideal effective dosage for resveratrol supplements, as research is still in its infancy. However, most resveratrol supplements contain 10 to 50 mg of resveratrol.

Resveratrol Picks

Resveratrol-forte High Potency, $24, 30 capsules, enzymatictherapy.com //Reserveage Organics Resveratrol, $24, 60 count, resverage.com // Natrol Resveratrol Plus, $19, 30 tablets, natrol.com // Nature’s Way Resveratrol, $22, 60 capsules, naturesway.com

Warnings

There are no known warnings for healthy individuals taking resveratrol supplements. However, it is known that people who take antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulant drugs, or NSAIDs should avoid resveratrol supplements for risk of more profuse bleeding after a minor injury.