Antioxidant superstar earns its stripes for disease prevention

I’m a research junkie. I’ll admit it. So I just about jumped out of my seat when I read that someone had finally tested resveratrol–the antioxidant superstar found in red wine and grapes–on actual human beings!

Yes, nutritionists have known about resveratrol for decades. It helps tame inflammation and prevent oxidative stress. This is significant because unchecked inflammation and oxidative stress can lead to heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Even the mainstream press picked up on resveratrol a few years back when scientists proved it could extend the lifespan of mice by 20 percent! They dubbed it the "fountain of youth."

But until last month, there was one giant problem with this antioxidant phenom: Zero clinical proof actually existed that it works on humans. (And I mean, ZERO.) There was plenty of data showing that it can increase the lifespan of roundworms, fruit flies, mice, and yeast. But nothing on humans…until last month. Will the antioxidant superstar work on humans? You may be wondering, why all the fuss? If resveratrol is found in red wine…doesn’t everyone know that drinking a glass of red wine is good for your health?

And yes, that’s true. But this study digs much deeper. In fact, it’s the first- ever study showing why resveratrol may be a legit "fountain of youth" for humans after all. Specifically, scientists from the University of Buffalo wanted to see if resveratrol could decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy men and women.

So the scientists recruited 20 healthy men and women and took samples of their blood. Then, they split the participants into two groups. One group received 40 mg of resveratrol each day for six weeks. And the other group received a placebo.

And here’s what they found…

Anti-aging extract scores off the charts!

Resveratrol performed just as we all had hoped.

First off, it blocked the formation of free radicals (reactive oxygen species or ROS). These harmful, unstable molecules cause damage to healthy cells. Over time, widespread free radical damage can harm your DNA and lead to a disease like cancer. But the participants who took resveratrol for six weeks significantly lowered their ROS levels.

Secondly, the resveratrol group also lowered their TNF levels. TNF (or tumor necrosis factor) is a harmful protein that creates inflammation throughout the body. A few weeks ago, we talked about this harmful protein and the role it plays in rheumatoid arthritis.

But TNF doesn’t just harm rheumatoid arthritis patients. It causes widespread inflammation that can affect your blood vessels, your organs, your skin, and even your brain. It also messes with your body’s insulin production. In fact, endocrinologists believe that lowering TNF levels will improve insulin resistance in diabetics.

Small study, big impact

Now, unfortunately this study is terribly small in scope with just 20 participants. Nevertheless, I think that it will have a big impact in the years to come. First off, it proves that resveratrol can help control inflammation in humans.

And that’s huge! Inflammation is the underlying, biological cause of so many different uncured diseases — from rheumatoid arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease.

Plus, it just builds more momentum for this superstar antioxidant. It will be interesting to see if one day scientists prove that resveratrol can extend your lifespan, as they proved with mice a few years back.

So if you’re not already taking something with resveratrol, now’s definitely the time start! (Especially if you’re over 50 or have an inflammatory disease.)

And yes, you’ll find resveratrol in red wine and grapes. But you’d have to drink gallons of wine (or eat bushels of grapes) to get 100 mg of resveratrol. That’s the amount you’ll find in any quality resveratrol supplement. Most of these are derived from the Japanese knotweed herb.

So take action now to keep feeling and looking young.

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Dr. Allan Spreen

Dr. Allan Spreen

Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.

In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as our Chief Research Advisor.

Dr. Spreen also writes the Guide to Good Health.

Please let us know what you think about this article. All comments will be moderated before being posted publicly.


  1. ZedeZ says

    Could Dr. Spreen comment how Resveratrol compares to Miroesterol and Holy Basil which is the king of the herbs in Ayurvedic medicine?
    All three are very powerful antioxidants, but which one has an overall advantage ?
    I tend to believe the centuries old tradition and experience of both Holy Basil and Miroesterol(which is part of the herb used by monks in India and Tibet)

  2. Anonymous says

    My husband and I both tried resveratrol after his heart attack. It indisputably gave both of us diarrhea. I wasn’t surprised that I got it since I tend toward it but my husband doesn’t. We eliminated everything else and found resveratrol to be the culprit. Is there a suggestion for this problem?

  3. says

    Nice to read a resveratrol advocating article with substance,rather than the usual admiring hype.Interesting that results were obtained with the relatively low dosage of 40 mg.

  4. Roger Charlesworth says

    Resveratrol will NOT extend life of humans because it in fact blocks the action of telomerase in extending cell life. However, by so doing it disables the ability of cancer cells to propagate. So resveratrol is actually a “system cleanup”. Extending life span can only be accomplished by regenerating the telomeres which naturally are shortened at every cell division, UNLESS trigggered by telomerase.

  5. says

    Resveratrol is a decent anti-oxidant that works via the adipokine system. It does not activate the SIR-1 gene or any other sirtuin as far as we know now. Dr Sinclair’s oft quoted research was not able to be reproduced by Glaxo Smith Kline who spent $750 million on his company. The “proprietary blend” of resveratrol that he created was studied and had to be removed from trials for multiple reasons including liver toxicity. Please stop referring to resveratrol as something wonderful when there are far more potent anti-oxidants like aronia that have been studied and actually work. I personally sent 4 different commercial preps of resveratrol To Dr Bill Andrew’s lab at Sierra Sciences for telomerase testing. No activity was found at all either pro or inhibitory. Zero zilch nada! 2 of the 4 preps decreased cell viability at low doses underscoring the need for caution on the part of the consumer. Resveratrol will continue to have a following because rumors are very hard to stop when no one is trying! Hundreds of millions were spent trying to prove resveratrol actually works. It does but not the way or to the degree that was originally hoped. Please let’s stop propagating myths.

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