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Resveratrol (3,4’,5 trihydoxystilbene) is a natural nonflavonoid polyphenol . It is produced in plants in response to stress, injury, infection or UV radiations.

grapevines. How grapevines produce resveratrol

For example grapevines such as Vitis vinifera and Vitis riparia produce resveratrol to overcome certain infections such as Botrylis cinerea and Plasmopara viticola, as resveratrol holds fungitoxic properties.

The food sources of this flavonoid are grapes, peanuts, wine, blueberries, bilberries, dark chocolate and tea.

Some examples:

  • Black grapes - 0.5 μg/g resveratrol

  • Peanut butter - 0.3 μg/g resveratrol

  • Red wine (Pinot Noir 1994 - California) - 1057 μg/100 ml resveratrol

In the early 1990s, it was observed that in spite of the consumption of high fat diet the French had low incidence of coronary heart diseases. This effect was stated as the “French paradox” and was attributed to the consumption of red wine. These beneficial effects were later atributed to Resveratrol (in red wine).

Resveratrol has been associated with a wide range of pharmacological properties because of its anti-oxidation, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties. Its protective role has noted in the development of numerous diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, metabolic diseases, etc. However, these observations were made from in-vitro (laboratory) studies. The in-vivo studies (in living organisms) do not show similar efficacy because resveratrol has rapid metabolism and low bioavailability.

Some examples:

  • Postmenopausal woman - 75 mg twice daily (resveratrol) - enhanced mood and cognition. Decreased risk of developing dementia.

  • Ageing - 200 mg/day - improved functional connectivity of hippocampus and glucose metabolism

  • Hypertension with type II diabetes mellitus - 8 mg/day - decreased inflammation and immunomodulatory effects

Those are just some examples. There are many others. Please note that all the studies even scientific have limitations!

It has been reported that a combination of polyphenols (as reported in wine) enhances its bioavailability. Also, studies report enhanced bioavailability of resveratrol by combining it with piperine (black pepper).

Although research reports relatively good tolerability by the human body, however, they do not exclude possible toxicity from high levels. So be careful with supplements. You can consult an expert such as your dietitian.

References :

  • Galiniak, S., Aebisher, D., & Bartusik-Aebisher, D. (2019). Health benefits of resveratrol administration. Acta biochimica Polonica, 66(1), 13–21.

  • Chimento, A., De Amicis, F., Sirianni, R., Sinicropi, M. S., Puoci, F., Casaburi, I., Saturnino, C., & Pezzi, V. (2019). Progress to Improve Oral Bioavailability and Beneficial Effects of Resveratrol. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(6), 1381.

  • Johnson, J. J., Nihal, M., Siddiqui, I. A., Scarlett, C. O., Bailey, H. H., Mukhtar, H., & Ahmad, N. (2011). Enhancing the bioavailability of resveratrol by combining it with piperine. Molecular nutrition & food research, 55(8), 1169–1176.

  • Pannu, N. and Bhatnagar, A. (2019) ‘Resveratrol: From enhanced biosynthesis and bioavailability to multitargeting chronic diseases’, Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 109, pp. 2237–2251. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2018.11.075.

  • Vesely, O., Baldovska, S., & Kolesarova, A. (2021). Enhancing Bioavailability of Nutraceutically Used Resveratrol and Other Stilbenoids. Nutrients, 13(9), 3095.

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