What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a secondary plant substance and belongs to the group of polyphenols in the subgroup of stilbenes. It is a powerful antioxidant. It is mainly found in red grapes, blueberries, apples, soy, peanuts and Japanese knotweed, but in about 70 plants in total. Since 2016, it has also been approved as a food ingredient and is mainly used for food supplements
Resveratrol is produced by plants when they have to fight off pests, microorganisms or fungi, but also, for example, when they are stressed by UV light or large temperature fluctuations. The antioxidant is mainly found in the skin of grapes, less so in seeds, stems or roots
The “French paradox” is attributed to this natural substance; in the 1990s, it was observed that the French had the fewest cardiovascular diseases in Europe despite high wine consumption and high-fat food. The reason was identified as increased consumption of red wine and the resulting increased polyphenol intake. But to get relevant amounts of resveratrol, one would have to drink about 10 bottles of red wine or eat 1.5 kg of dark chocolate – and that every day!
How does resveratrol work?
Resveratrol is said to have a positive effect on life expectancy, as it is said to have several effects. Besides reducing insulin resistance and lowering fasting glucose, it also lowers serum cholesterol. Furthermore, it is able to pass the blood-brain barrier and thus has a neuroprotective effect. Inflammatory messenger substances are blocked.
Intake and dosage of resveratrol
Resveratrol works best in combination with other polyphenols such as quercetin or catechin. Even at high dosages there are no toxic effects. According to one study, side effects were nausea and mild diarrhoea in some cases at a dosage of 5g daily. A safe long-term dose was found to be 400 mg daily
Resveratrol inhibits the clumping of blood platelets and therefore a simultaneous intake of blood thinners and painkillers should be avoided. Since the plant substance is fat-soluble, it should always be taken with a fatty meal