Study: Synthetic Resveratrol Found To Be A Dud

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Resveratrol (rez-vair-a-trol) has been posed as a molecular mimic of a lifespan-doubling calorie restricted diet. But according to a recent report published in the Journal Aging Cell, resveratrol fell flat and failed to differentiate genes activated by a limited calorie diet.

If you are searching for a bargain-priced resveratrol (rez-vair-a-trol) pill at a big-box store you may need to think twice. The resveratrol brands of big-box store shelves often provide a synthetic form resveratrol that is not revealed on the label. In a recently published animal study, synthetic resveratrol was found to be a dud.

A synthetic version of the red wine molecule resveratrol unexpectedly fell flat in a recently published study where various natural molecules and medicines were tested for their ability to mimic the healthspan/lifespan doubling genetic effects of a calorie restricted diet.

Some big-box store brands are labeled as being “all natural” or “true nature,” further confusing sophisticated consumers who are searching for a resveratrol pill that is proven to work.

Molecular mimics of a calorie restricted diet

Researchers put seven different molecules (4 drugs and 3 natural molecules) to the test. These molecules were measured for their ability to boost or diminish the activity of various key genes that are characteristically differentiated by a calorie restricted diet as well as their ability to influence key markers of inflammation, blood sugar, obesity and cellular energy.

Test results

Strikingly, none of the drugs (anti-diabetic drug drugs metformin and pioglitazone; a cholesterol-lowering drug bezafibrate; the weight-loss drug dinitrophenol) or the three natural molecules (L-carnitine, quercetin, synthetic resveratrol) exhibited demonstrable effects compared to a calorie-restricted diet in various strains of laboratory mice over a 3-month period of time.

In a prior study published in 2008 these same researchers reported that resveratrol combined with other natural molecules exhibited a profound genetic effect, nine times greater than a calorie restricted diet or plain resveratrol.

Genes activated by:

  • calorie restriction 198
  • resveratrol 225
  • a molecular combination 1711

This unique resveratrol-based matrix, commercially available under the brand name Longevinex® (pronounced long-jev-in-ex), exhibits synergistic not just additive effects (three ingredients differentiated 9-fold more genes).

Raw material suppliers of synthetic resveratrol abound. While synthetic resveratrol has been shown to exhibit biological activity in other published studies, it didn’t pass muster in the aforementioned gene array study as a calorie restriction mimetic.

Caveat emptor: let the buyer be aware

Synthetic resveratrol may not be effective for the original reason proposed – to mimic a calorie-restricted diet. Not just any resveratrol pill will do. According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, there are 530 brands for consumers to choose from. So far, only one has undergone testing to prove it reliably alters genes to mimic a calorie-restricted diet, which is the gold standard for anti-aging pills. The rest of the resveratrol pills exist on borrowed science and presumptions they are biologically active.

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Daniel Van Bogelen
SDM | Digital Agency