Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements

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What is resveratrol? Why do we need it?

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in a wide variety of plants. It helps to keep blood vessels remain open and pliable and also helps to keep blood platelets from aggregating, or clumping together.

Laboratory tests conducted on animals in 1997 suggest that resveratrol can stop potentially cancerous tumors from forming and prevent existing cancerous tumors from spreading; however, these studies have yet to be conducted in humans. In another series of animal studies conducted in 1997, resveratrol was shown to inhibit acute and chronic inflammation.

How much resveratrol should I take?

While a recommended daily allowance has yet to be established, researchers believe a minimum of 500 milligrams of resveratrol should be taken to help reduce the risk of cancer. A glass of red wine contains approximately 640 micrograms of resveratrol; a handful of peanuts supplies nearly 75 micrograms.

What are some good sources of resveratrol? What forms are available?

Grapes and peanuts are the two main food sources of resveratrol. Resveratrol is concentrated in grape skin. Since the manufacturing process of red wine includes prolonged contact with grape skins, red wine contains far higher amounts of resveratrol than white wine. Resveratrol supplements are also available; they are usually found in combination with grape extracts or other antioxidants.

What can happen if I don’t get enough resveratrol? What can happen if I take too much? Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?

Since resveratrol is not classified as an essential nutrient, no definitive deficiency or toxicity levels have been established. At the time of this writing, there are no known adverse reactions or drug interactions associated with resveratrol.


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