Resveratrol is a chemical compound found in certain plants. It is called a phytoalexin because plants naturally produce it as an antibiotic substance to fight both bacteria and fungi. Plants containing resveratrol include the grapes and skins of grapes that produce wine, raspberries, mulberries, blueberries and cranberries. Resveratrol can also be found in peanuts, certain pine trees and in Japanese knotweed. Resveratrol may have anti-aging properties. So far, studies conducted on mice have provided the only evidence for claims that resveratrol may lead to longer life.

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol Other names
(E)-5-(p-Hydroxystyryl)resorcinol (E)-5-(4-hydroxystyryl)benzene-1,3-diol

Resveratrol (trans-resveratrol) is a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Several experiments suggest that it triggers mechanisms that counteract aging-related effects in animals.

How is it Made?
It is a phytoalexin found in plants produced naturally as an antibiotic substance to fight both bacteria and fungi.

Where is it Found?
Resveratrol is a substance produced by plants. Its production is an effect of fungus or bacterial attack and works as a natural antibiotic for the plant to fight off disease and infection. In the lab, it was first discovered in 1940 by a Japanese scientist. Originally isolated from the roots of the European White Helleborn plant, it was later discovered in the Japanese knotweed and then in 1992 in red wine. Today, through extensive research the scientists have identified the major dietary sources for Resveratrol. They are:

arw Japanese Knotweed
Young stems of the Japanese Knotweed can be cultivated and cooked. The taste is similar to young rhubarb and offers a naturally high level of Resveratrol. The process of cultivation has the added benefit of keeping the plant under control as it is a naturally robust and can get out of control, taking over native plants and wreaking havoc on ecosystems. As one of the first sources of Resveratrol, this plant is continually studied to find better ways of harvesting and cultivating it to extract the Resveratrol for use in dietary supplements.

arw Red Wine
Red Wine is the most commonly know source of Resveratrol. Red wine contains varying amounts of Resveratrol per glass or bottle but always will contain more than its red grape counterpart. The fermentation process of making wine from the grapes releases the Resveratrol into the wine that otherwise would not come out of the skins. White wine does not contain nearly as much Resveratrol as the chemical is concentrated in the skins of the grapes which are discarded during the making of white wines. Different varieties of red wine contain different amounts of Resveratrol with Pinot Noir being the most Resveratrol concentrated variety of wine. Many people have heard about the positive effects of red wine, but in the case of Resveratrol, in order to benefit from it, a person would need to drink the equivalent of 100 bottles per day. As this is impossible, supplements are often substituted.

arw 3.Red Grapes
Red grapes contain a varying amount of Resveratrol depending on exposure to funguses as they mature as well as a host of other factors including cultivation methods, processing, variety of grape and region of the country they were grown. Organically grown grapes, though hard to find, have higher Resveratrol concentrations due to the plant being asked to naturally fight infection.

arw 4.Peanuts
Peanuts contain half-again as much Resveratrol on average compared to red grapes. Again, the level of Resveratrol is related to cultivation practices as well as farming practices. Peanuts are known as a natural fungus carrier so it is no surprise that peanuts produce Resveratrol to fight such infections.

arw Blueberries
Blueberries, on average, contain about 10% of the Resveratrol of grapes. The actual amount that they contain varies greatly based on region and variety of berry. What is notable about blueberries is their diversity, containing many antioxidants and other phytochemicals besides Resveratrol and have been considered a super food due to this diverse make-up.
See Resveratrol related videos:
video icon What is Resveratrol? (video module - 3.50 minutes)
video icon Scientists Finally Discovered ANTI-AGING Secret (video module - 2.56 minutes)
video icon Dr Oz Says Resveratrol on Good Morning America  (video module - 6.52 minutes)
Product related PDF file
Resveratrol Benefits
Resveratrol in Health and Disease
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Benefits / Uses
Resveratrol has gained a lot of attention for its reported anti-aging and disease-combating benefits. Early research, mostly done in test tubes and in animals, suggests that resveratrol might help protect the body against a number of diseases, including:

Heart disease
Resveratrol helps reduce inflammation, prevents the oxidation of LDL "bad" cholesterol, and makes it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can lead to a heart attack.

Resveratrol is thought to limit the spread of cancer cells and trigger the process of cancer cell death (apoptosis).

Alzheimer's disease
Resveratrol may protect nerve cells from damage and the buildup of plaque that can lead to Alzheimer's.

Resveratrol helps prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the blood sugar-lowering hormone, insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.

Rodent studies suggest that resveratrol might even help against some of the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and lead to increased longevity. Resveratrol-treated mice fed a high-calorie diet lived longer than similarly fed mice not given resveratrol. Resveratrol protected mice fed a high-calorie diet from obesity-related health problems by mimicking the effects of caloric restriction.

A daily dose of 250 mg of trans- Resveratrol seems like a good starting point.

Possible Side-Effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions
Resveratrol is likely safe when used in the amounts found in foods. But there isn't enough information available to know if resveratrol is safe in larger amounts.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Resveratrol is likely safe when used in amounts found in some foods, but during pregnancy and breast-feeding, the source of resveratrol is important. Resveratrol is found in grape skins, grape juice, wine, and other food sources. But wine should not be used as a source of resveratrol during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Resveratrol might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use resveratrol.
Surgery: Resveratrol might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using resveratrol at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Possible Interactions

arw Resveratrol might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking resveratrol along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking resveratrol, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.
Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, fexofenadine , triazolam , and many others.

arw Resveratrol might slow blood clotting. Taking resveratrol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel , diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, warfarin, and others.
Research Studies / References

arw Bass TM, Weinkove D, Houthoofd K, Gems D, Partridge L (October 2007). "Effects of resveratrol on lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans". Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 128 (10): 546-52. doi:10.1016/j.mad.2007.07.007.

arw Elliott PJ, Jirousek M (April 2008). "Sirtuins: novel targets for metabolic disease". Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs 9 (4): 371-8.

arw "Pharma seeks genetic clues to healthy ageing". Reuters. 6 April 2010.

arw Farina A, Ferranti C, Marra C (2006). "An improved synthesis of resveratrol". Nat. Prod. Res. 20 (3): 247-52. doi:10.1080/14786410500059532.

arw Trantas E, Panopoulos N, Ververidis F (2009). "Metabolic engineering of the complete pathway leading to heterologous biosynthesis of various flavonoids and stilbenoids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". Metab. Eng. 11 (6): 355-366. doi:10.1016/j.ymben.2009.07.004.

arw Schröder, Joachim (March 6, 2010). "Discovery of resveratrol". Resveratrol.[self-published source?]

arw Howitz KT, Bitterman KJ, Cohen HY, et al. (September 2003). "Small molecule activators of sirtuins extend Saccharomyces cerevisiae lifespan". Nature 425 (6954): 191-6. doi:10.1038/nature01960.

arw  Wood JG, Rogina B, Lavu S, et al. (August 2004). "Sirtuin activators mimic caloric restriction and delay ageing in metazoans". Nature 430 (7000): 686-9. doi:10.1038/nature02789.

arw  Gruber J, Tang SY, Halliwell B (April 2007). "Evidence for a trade-off between survival and fitness caused by resveratrol treatment of Caenorhabditis elegans". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1100: 530-42. doi:10.1196/annals.1395.059.

arw  Valenzano DR, Terzibasi E, Genade T, Cattaneo A, Domenici L, Cellerino A (February 2006). "Resveratrol prolongs lifespan and retards the onset of age-related markers in a short-lived vertebrate". Current Biology 16 (3): 296-300.