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Resveratrol—the hype continues

February 3, 2012
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
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March 5, 2012

Wouldn’t you also want to consider the other aspects of drinking wine that affect your health, i.e. alcohol and calorie intake? I would much prefer to get a balanced nutrition through healthy and fresh foods that are enjoyable, but only to the extent that they don’t poison our bodies. We most prefer alkaline foods

March 1, 2012

I am a fan of the thought process that says we should enjoy pleasures like Wine, etc. and I still often do.

But I do think at the same time that a Raw and Alkaline Foods Diet allows you to naturally not want Sugary Fruits, Wines, etc. Even though the overwhelming trend in our society is to not allow this diet to happen and thus we still have a TON of desire for these foods, fruits and wines.

I work with a Pro Chef that experienced this – he used to have wine every night in his fine-dining restaurant and lost his taste completely when he went on a Raw and Alkaline Diet. That Website is

Mainstream Health is unfortunately still catching up with this.

February 9, 2012

So we are advised to “go natural” and not use supplements because:
1) drinking wine etc. is pleasurable
2) taking supplements is dull.
And this is medical adivice according to the Editor.
No much to comment I guess ?

February 4, 2012

For those who an connect the dots, and even read published studies, it is clear that resveratrol supplementation is a good way to ward off the ravages of aging.

For those who pander to the phamaceutical industry – an industry that kills many people per year with its drugs – the case is not so clear.

We are on the verge of a health revolution. Prevent disease, dont treat diseaes.

FYI, in the glaxo study you are referring to, they gave 5000 mg. of micronized resveratrol in an emulsion per day….THIS IS AN ABSURD AMOUNT.

david george
February 4, 2012

Resveratrol pills are a wonder drug. There are no reported adverse side effects. Read up.

March 23, 2012

The only viable rtleanative to the health care we have now would be a single payor system, but that would mean closing down approximately 1,000 health insurance companies and would add tens or hundreds of thousands of workers to the unemployment rolls, to replace all of them with a single federal government payor and inefficient civil service workers.To spend over one trillion dollars to just add a government option is fiscally irresponsible and will cost more annually than the system we have now.If our system is so bad why do people from around the world, in particular England and Europe, come here for treatment which they can’t get or would take too long with their free government health care?

Dr Sullivan
February 4, 2012

This author’s pro pharma bias is clear in the misleading headline he chose for this article. At this point in its evolution resveratrol has become a serious threat to the earnings that derive from the sale of drugs such as Metformin, Lipitor and the related very unsafe and only marginally effective cholesterol drugs, and even certain of the anti-inflammatories, whose adverse effects have resulted in several of them being taken off of the market last year.

In the recent month or so there have been a steady stream of misleading and, in my opinion, deceptive articles disseminated in the press which have unfairly cast doubt of the validity of resveratrol’s health benefits. On the other hand, studies such as the one recently published in a top medical journal by Albert Einstein Med. College, in which transmax resveratrol produced effects similar to that of Metformin without any observed adverse effects, have been aggressively ignored by the US media. Another very large scale, long term extremely important human study in which the statin drugs were associated with very serious health hazards was barely covered at all and disappeared from the news radar within days.

February 4, 2012

Superb and valuable information

Conrad Roland
February 4, 2012

We should be very happy and grateful about the new study by Park et al., published in Cell on February 3, 2012:
“Resveratrol Ameliorates Aging-Related Metabolic Phenotypes by Inhibiting cAMP Phosphodiesterases” (Cell 148, 421-433, Feb.3,2012)
No “…hype continues” there ! It is enlightenment about resveratrol pure and simple.
This study under the leadership of Dr. Jay H. Chung seems to be an excellent new look at resveratrol with quite unexpected results and explanations for previous findings – explaining the activation of SIRT1 and AMPK and the (new) role of PDE4 inhibition in the observed beneficial effects of resveratrol.
BTW, PDE4 and other PDEs are also inhibited by other polyphenols such as curcumin,
epimedium sagittatum (Viagra mimic!), etc. Resveratrol may not be that unique, and the new study by Park et al. may shed light on and be applied to such other polyphenols
(e.g. grape seed extract, oligomeric proanthocyanidins), especially to the highly potent
– pluripotent – curcuminoids that show similar effects like AMPK activation etc.
We have to agree with Dr. Skerrett that many questions remain (appropriate dosing, side effects – such as the kidney problems observed by the Sirtris researchers) until sufficiently powered clinical studies have been completed.
I have taken a resveratrol + other red wine polyphenols supplement for the last six years
in the range of 150 – max. 300 mg of trans-resveratrol per day plus one glass of
high-altitude red wine (Malbec), in addition to several other phytonutrients in/as food and as supplements, in particular a high dose of approx. 3500 mg curcumin and
daily dietary isothiocyanates/sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables, especially
broccoli and daikon sprouts. After all, I am 77 years old, in good health after having smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day for 42 years and quit 14 years ago after a well-deserved heart attack. Every reason to consider resveratrol and other polyphenols for prevention of premature degenerative diseases – mostly as food, but some necessarily as supplements. 30 bottles of red wine every day to obtain (presumably beneficial)
150 mg of resveratrol may be a bit too much . . .
I certainly agree with Howard Glenn’s comment.

March 22, 2012

Its true Resveratrol,found in red wine,is very good for the human body and it has many health bnitfeee.

Howard Glenn
February 4, 2012

Over 6,000 published studies on resveratrol’s biokinetic, epigenetic, metabolic, anti-carcinogenesis and other beneficial properties is not hype. Only a pro-pharma toady could make this conclusion.

PC slow
February 4, 2012

Should we drink ‘Red Wine’ ?

March 21, 2012

How is it a rip off? This is a natural iderenignts called RESVERATROL.. You can get it in red wine, grape seed or you could buy it in any food store.. How is it a rip off?

Bill Sardi
February 3, 2012

Resveratrol in wine is highly variable, maybe about 1 mg per glass of the best aged dark red wine. When combined with the other polyphenolic molecules found in wine in a dose of 3-5 five-ounce glasses per day, this will achieve optimal heart protection. The problem is that this is the inebriation intake level. Red wine pills should provide about the same dose of total polyphenols found in 3-5 glasses of wine, about 60 mg per glass, or 180-300 mg of resveratrol or resveratrol + other molecules. Dose is critically important as too much resveratrol negates its protective effect in the heart and worsens a heart attack (animal studies). High-dose resveratrol pills (300-1000 mg) should be avoided. At this dose resveratrol promotes oxidation, whereas at lower doses it is an antioxidant. Many people do not consume alcohol and a red wine resveratrol pill is an option. -Bill Sardi (Disclosure: I am a formulator of red wine pills)

Ian Liberman
February 5, 2012

First of all, the recent study with Resveratrol and diabetes and metabolic syndrome had a dosage between one to two grams and was effective. A high dose was needed. That was mentioned by Dr. Sullivan. Second, is your suggestion about low dose resveratrol based on on the discredited studies of Dr. Dipak K Das ? Thirdly, all the talk about estrogen being a problem for women as far as I know a major study last indicated that resveratrol destroyed breast cancer cells.

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