Resveratrol: Can It Help You Live Longer?
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Resveratrol is a natural compound in plant foods like blueberries, cranberries, grapes, and peanuts. Resveratrol is linked to many health benefits. It may prevent heart disease and cancer and even prolong lifespan. Researchers are still trying to determine if resveratrol benefits human health and if people should take resveratrol supplements. But, like all supplements, they have their risks. Talk with your health care provider before trying resveratrol supplements, especially if you are pregnant or have a chronic medical condition.
Note: You may have heard drinking red wine might help you live longer. Researchers have studied the link between health and red wine for decades. There is no evidence that any amount of wine is healthy for you.
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a polyphenol in many foods, like grapes, berries, apples, and peanuts. It is most concentrated in the skin and seeds of berries and fruits. It is why red wine has received some attention for its resveratrol content. The wine fermentation process includes the grapes' skin and seeds.
What is a good source of resveratrol?
Resveratrol is present in some natural plant foods, including:
Does resveratrol help you live longer?
Early studies suggest resveratrol may lengthen lifespan in some nonhuman organisms, including yeast and worms. It may be related to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and metabolic effects. However, no evidence exists that these benefits apply to the human lifespan.
However, there is emerging evidence that resveratrol may help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and neurologic conditions. These benefits may translate into improved healthspan (how long a person is healthy) and possibly lifespan (how long a person lives) in humans. But more human studies are needed to know for sure.
Other reported health benefits of resveratrol.
Studies have shown some potential health benefits of resveratrol, particularly for preventing health conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Again, this research is limited, and there are no extensive, well-designed studies to make clear recommendations.
To date, research suggests that resveratrol may:
How to take resveratrol supplements
Resveratrol comes as a supplement. However, the FDA does not regulate supplements, meaning there is no specific recommended dose of resveratrol.
Supplements also vary in how much resveratrol they contain. Most have between 250 mg and 1,000 mg of resveratrol, much more than you could get from your diet. For example, red wine contains less than 2 mg of resveratrol per liter.
What are the side effects of resveratrol?
Like any medication or supplement, resveratrol supplements can cause side effects, especially at higher doses (over 2.5 grams per day).
Side effects include:
Some specific medication interactions to be aware of include:
Who should not take resveratrol?
Some people may have potential risks or unknown risks when taking resveratrol supplements.
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