Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols. They’re thought to act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage that can put you at higher risk for things like cancer and heart disease.
It’s in the skin of red grapes, but you can also find it in peanuts and berries.
Manufacturers have tried to capitalize on its powers by selling resveratrol supplements. Most resveratrol capsules sold in the U.S. contain extracts from an Asian plant called Polygonum cuspidatum. Other resveratrol supplements are made from red wine or red grape extracts.
Do resveratrol supplements really deliver on those promises?
It’s gained a lot of attention for its reported anti-aging and disease-fighting powers. Still, it’s important to note that while experts agree that it does have potential, there’s still not enough data to confirm its effectiveness. Still, early research does suggest it might help protect you against:
Alzheimer's: It may protect nerve cells from damage and fight the plaque buildup that can lead to the disease.
Researchers believe that resveratrol activates the SIRT1 gene. That gene is believed to protect the body against the effects of obesity and the diseases of aging.
So far, studies have not discovered any severe ones, even when resveratrol is taken in large doses.
As with other supplements, the FDA doesn't regulate resveratrol. That makes it difficult for consumers to know exactly what they're getting or whether the product is effective. There also isn't any specific dosage recommendation, and how much you should take can vary from supplement to supplement.
The dosages in most resveratrol supplements are typically much lower than the amounts that have been shown beneficial in research. Most supplements contain 250 to 500 milligrams. To get the dose used in some studies, people would have to consume 2 grams of resveratrol (2,000 milligrams) or more a day.
The Bottom Line
Until more high-quality research is done, experts do not recommend resveratrol supplements for antiaging or disease prevention.