Can the Red Wine Molecule Actually Add Twenty Years to the Life Span of Humans? A New Study by Doctors in England Confirms High Dosages of Resveratrol are Safe

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Resveratrol has become the anti-aging story of 2007 and possibly the decade. If you decide to try this so-called "Miracle Molecule" there are some things you should know first, facts and myths about resveratrol supplements.

Consumption of resveratrol did not cause serious adverse events

Dr. Joseph C. Maroon, neurologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh medical school, and a leading scholar on resveratrol, stated recently that he would not be surprised to see the scientists who discovered resveratrol "standing together in Stockholm."

Whether this remarkable molecule's discovery will bring Harvard's Dr. Sinclair and his colleagues a Nobel prize or not remains to be seen however the fact that resveratrol has galvanized the attention of physicians and scientists worldwide in virtually every field of medicine is indisputable.

Accidental death notwithstanding, a person's life span is determined by three factors; avoidance of the principal diseases of aging, particularly cardiovascular disease, cancers, and diabetes; genetic and epigenetic factors; and finally the limit on the number of times cells can divide or replicate without incurring fatal DNA errors or consuming the chromosome's telemere.

Resveratrol, the so called "Miracle Molecule", has been shown in animal trials to have potential benefits in three of the four anti-aging categories; preventing the diseases of aging, inducing DNA repair, and activating the anti-aging gene Sirt 1. No other drug or natural compound has been associated with all of these potential effects.

In studies and trials at major universities and research centers since the mid 1990s resveratrol has been shown to have an incredible range of potential health benefits. Although there is a clear and pressing need for additional human studies, given the evidence to date and the absence of reported adverse effects, adding this compound to your daily supplement mix may now be worth considering.

If you decide to start taking resveratrol there are some important factors you should be aware of when choosing a specific supplement. Following are some of the more important considerations.

Red wine skins or extract as it is called is not the best source resveratrol. In spite of resveratrol often being referred to as the "Red Wine Molecule" the source of the resveratrol used in virtually all studies, including the Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Auwerx studies, is Polygonum cuspidatum commonly known as Giant Knotweed. Red wine simply does not contain sufficient concentrations of the key trans-resveratrol isomer. Only low potency and unnecessarily high priced products can be produced from red wine skins. Red wine skins also often contain traces of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals which are extremely difficult to either detect or remove.

Resveratrol should not be combined with the nutrient Quercetin. A number of recent studies have shown conclusively that Quercetin blocks the critical metabolites of resveratrol. These metabolites account for up to 80% of the beneficial effects of resveratrol and extend its half life by over 400%. If both supplements are taken they should be separated by at least 8 hours.

In November of 2007 an independent consumer organization, Consumer Lab, tested the major resveratrol brands for potency, purity and compliance with label claims and found that not all products contained the amount of resveratrol claimed on their labels and web sites. Life Extension brand, for example contained less than 27% of the claimed resveratrol. Biotivia Bioforte was the best value per 100mg and second highest potency product and Biotivia Transmax was the highest potency supplement of those which passed the evaluations. Biotivia was the only company with two approved products. The test was open to all manufacturers however many chose not to subject their products to independent scrutiny. Several of the companies who declined to have their products tested refused comment when contacted about their reasons for this decision.

The issue of what is the safe and effective dosage of resveratrol to take on a daily basis is an important one as too low a dose may be simply a waste of money. Some light was thrown on this topic recently by a study done by doctors in England. In this trial subjects given as much as 5000mg per day had no serious adverse effects after a prolonged period of usage. The doctors concluded that "Consumption of resveratrol did not cause serious adverse events" even at these extremely high doses. No evidence of toxicity has been found in any major resveratrol trial or study. Based upon the Dr. Sinclair study, which was published in the journal Nature in November 2006, the equivalent human dosage adjusted for body mass, metabolism and other factors is between 300mg and 400mg for a 170 pound person. Virtually all studies note that effects are dose dependen, that is higher doses produce greater effects. Many physicians recommend a dose of between 500mg and 1000mg per day.

Limited Bio availability seems to be a problem with resveratrol and other polyphenols however this problem may have been resolved by one company. Biotivia Ltd. researchers in Austria recently announced a breakthrough in overcoming the naturally low bio availability of resveratrol. This iwas accomplished by complexing organic resveratrol with a natural patented adjutant and utilizing a proprietary multi-stage processing system to enhance certain properties of the compound. Specific details of the process are a trade secret.

Over the past ten to fifteen years a huge amount of study has been done on various polyphenols and their potential for health benefits in humans. Some of the most promising candidates to date are curcumin (extract of Tumeric), Silymarin, Astralagus, especially Astragaloside IV, and a new class of super antioxidants derived from exotic fruits such as Goji berry, Mangosteen, and Acai, as well as extracts of Apple and Tangerine peel, blue berry and elder berry. Biotivia has recently announced the availability of a longevity supplement which combines high-potency resveratrol with silymarin, curcumin and astralagus, and a new patent pending super antioxidant which contains a complementary blend of the most potent extracts of this new class of polyphenols.

A 167 page paper recently authored by Drs. Saurabh and Betz compiles the most significant studies on cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the neuroprotective and anti-aging properties of resveratrol. It is available to interested persons by request. The paper is updated on a regular basis. Biotivia is a 15 year worldwide supplier of quality botanicals to formulators, researchers and medical organizations. Biotivia USA manufactures Bioforte, Transmax, Bio Quench, Bioflu and Bio Span+. More information is available at


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James Betz