Resveratrol Supplements Instead of Red Wine?

Red wineWe’ve been hearing for a while now that red wine is good for our health. And resveratrol is the name of the compound that supposedly wields these healing powers.

You may have seen ads online or spam in your inbox hawking resveratrol in pill form. (Although, I’d prefer it in the form of a glass of red wine.)

Naturally, drug companies want in on the action. GlaxoSmithKline has paid $720 million for rights to resveratrol research. But what’s the science behind it? If a glass of red wine is good for the blood and heart, is a supplement also good or maybe even better?

The LA Times has a good article on this, for those who want to delve into the science behind these health claims:

To bring resveratrol cheaply to a growing market, supplement makers have taken to extracting the plant compound not from grapes or wine but from an exotic weed, Polygonum cuspidatum, or Japanese knotweed. They are mixing it with a wide variety of other dietary supplements (including the antioxidant açai, which also has taken the supplements world by storm), concentrating it in mega-doses, micronizing it “for optimum absorption” and capturing it in a pill, capsule, powder and even a topical cream. … The flurry of commercial activity has taken off despite the fact that researchers don’t even know exactly what resveratrol does.
 
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