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Resveratrol’s Health Benefits Go Beyond Anti-Aging

Why should I take a resveratrol supplement if I can get it from wine or peanut butter?

Quite frankly, if you drink enough wine or eat enough peanut butter—every day—you probably could get plenty of resveratrol. But, and that’s a big but (excuse the pun), you’d be consuming so many extra calories that you’d have to spend the entire day exercising in order to not gain weight! And even though wine may be good for you in small doses, alcohol takes a toll on your liver and saps your body of vitamins and minerals. And the worst-case scenario is that it can become addictive.
It’s better in the long run to take a nutritional supplement with a standardized amount of resveratrol, so you don’t have to worry about loading up on calories or alcohol.

What to look for in a resveratrol supplement

  • Red wine extract contains varying amounts of resveratrol along with other plant chemicals, so it’s important that the product supplies a standardized extract of resveratrol.
  • Supplements usually contain doses of anywhere from 1 milligram to 100 milligrams of resveratrol per day. On the other hand, an entire bottle of red wine contains only about 10 milligrams of resveratrol. It’s also important to realize that some products label their resveratrol in micrograms (mcg) rather than milligrams (mg). This can make the amount look like a hefty dose, but remember that it takes 1,000 micrograms to equal 1 milligram. For a product that promises 20 mcg per pill, you would need to take 1,000 pills to get a 20 mg dose.6
  • Look for a standardized extract of proven levels of trans-resveratrol in an easy to take capsule form.

Resveratrol exists in two forms: cis-resveratrol and trans-resveratrol. These forms contain the same type and number of atoms, but the orientation of the atoms is slightly different. Cis- and trans-resveratrol have some biological activities in common while other activities are specific to only one form or the other. Trans-resveratrol is commercially available and has been the subject of more research than cis-resveratrol—although not all research has adequately established or identified the form used.6

Total Resveratrol Content of Wines and Grape Juice
Beverage Total Resveratrol in a 5 oz glass (mg)
Muscadine Wines
2.12 - 6
Red Wines (Global)
.30 - 1.07
Red Wines (Spanish)
.29 - 1.89
Red Grape Juice (Spanish)
.17 - 1.30
Rose Wines ( Spanish)
.06 - .53
Pinot Noir
.06 - .30
White Wines (Spanish)
.01 - .27

Total Resveratrol Content of Selected Foods
Total Resveratrol (mg)
Peanuts (raw)
1 c (146 g)
.01 - .26
Peanuts (boiled)
1 c (180 g)
.32 - 1.28
Peanut Butter
1 c (258 g)
.04 - .13
Red Grapes
1 c (160 g)
.24 - 1.25


Scientific studies

Resveratrol has been the subject of intense interest because of its antioxidant, cardioprotective, anti-aging, and anticancer properties. Following are some of the most significant studies:

Reduces cancer risk

Although resveratrol is not toxic to healthy cells, it is able to selectively target and kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading. Resveratrol acts on the process of carcinogenesis by affecting the three phases: tumor initiation, promotion and progression phases, and suppresses the final steps of carcinogenesis, i.e. angiogenesis and metastasis.7

Studies have found that resveratrol

  • May be particularly beneficial as an adjunct cancer therapy in advanced prostate cancer8
  • Reduces skin tumors in mice when applied topically9
  • May be beneficial in the treatment of breast, colon, lung, esophagus, skin, lymph node, brain and testicular cancer,1011 as well as thyroid, melanoma, pancreas, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, ovarian and cervical carcinoma11
  • Decreased induced mammary tumor incidence, number of tumors, and extended cancer latency in female Sprague-Dawley rats12
  • Can inhibit the growth of colorectal tumor cells13

Resveratrol helps keep your heart and arteries healthy by

  • Preventing cholesterol plaque from forming within artery walls regardless of whether circulating levels of cholesterol are high or low14
  • Up-regulating nitric oxide and exerting antioxidant protection against cardiac ischemia15
  • Stopping the proliferation of cells in blood vessels that narrow the arteries,16 and keeping blood cells from sticking together17
  • Relaxing the endothelium that lines the arteries, allowing for efficient blood flow18

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    Editor's Note:

    The natural health solutions described in these article are available through many on-line retailers including those listed below. By clicking these links you help support the important alternative health research we provide.

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    Visit – a great way to find competitive deals on supplements offered by many different manufacturers.

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    These articles are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.


    1. Wood JG, Rogina B, Lavu S, Howitz K, Helfand SL, Tatar M, Sinclair D. Sirtuin activators mimic caloric restriction and delay ageing in metazoans. Nature. 2004 Aug 5;430(7000):686-9. Epub 2004 Jul 14.

    2. Wolf G. Calorie restriction increases life span: a molecular mechanism. Nutr Rev. 2006 Feb;64(2 Pt 1):89-92.

    3. Baur JA, et al Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):337-42. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

    4. Swaminathan, Nikhil “The Fountain of Youth at the Bottom of a Wine Bottle?” Scientific, Nov. 2, 2006. 

    5. Dario R. Valenzano, Eva Terzibasi, Tyrone Genade, Antonino Cattaneo, Luciano Domenici, and Alessandro Cellerino. Resveratrol Prolongs Lifespan and Retards the Onset of Age-Related Markers in a Short-Lived Vertebrate. Current Biology 2006 16: 296-300.

    6. Review Article: Resveratrol, 11/30/06.

    7. Delmas D, Lancon A, Colin D, Jannin B, Latruffe N. Resveratrol as a chemopreventive agent: a promising molecule for fighting cancer.Curr Drug Targets. 2006 Apr ;7:423-42.

    8. Jubilee R. Stewart and Catherine A. O'Brian Resveratrol antagonizes EGFR-dependent Erk1/2 activation in human androgen-independent prostate cancer cells with associated isozyme-selective PKC alpha inhibition. Invest New Drug, 2004;22(2):107-117.

    9. Jang M, Cai L, Udeani GO, Slowing KV, Thomas CF, Bleecher CWW, Fong HHS, Farnsworth NR, Kinghorn AD, Mehta RG, Moon RC, Pezzuto JM. 1997. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes. Sci275(5297):218–20.

    10. Murray GI, Taylor MC, McFadyen MC, Mckay JA, Greenlee WF, Burke MD, Melvin MF. 1997. Tumor-specific expression of cytochrome P450 CYP1B1. Cancer Res 57(14):3026–31.

    11. Aggarwal BB, Bhardwaj A, Aggarwal RS, Seeram NP, Shishodia S, Takada Y. Role of resveratrol in prevention and therapy of cancer: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2004 Sep-Oct;24(5A):2783-840.

    12. Banerjee S, Bueso-Ramos C, Aggarwal BB. 2002. Suppression of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene-induced mammary carcinogenesis in rats by resveratrol: role of nuclear factor-κB, cyclooxygenase 2, and matrix metalloprotease 9. Cancer Res 62(17):4945–54.

    13. Trincheri NF, Nicotra G, Follo C, Castino R, Isidoro C. Resveratrol induces cell death in colorectal cancer cells by a novel pathway involving lysosomal cathepsin D. Carcinogenesis. 2006 Nov 20.

    14. Wang Z, Zou J, Cao K, Hsieh TC, Huang Y, Wu JM. Dealcoholized red wine containing known amounts of resveratrol suppresses atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits without affecting plasma lipid levels. Int J Mol Med. 2005 Oct;16(4):533-40.

    15. Shen M, Jia GL, Wang YM, Ma H. Cardioprotective effect of resveratrol pretreatment on myocardial ischemia-reperfusion induced injury in rats. Vascul Pharmacol. 2006 Aug;45(2):122-6. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

    16. Haider, U.G. et al. Resveratrol increases serine 15-phosphorylated but transcriptionally impaired p53 and induces a reversible DNA replication block in serum-activated vascular smooth muscle cells.Mol. Pharmacol. 200;363:925-32.

    17. Zbikowska, H.M. et al. Antioxidants with carcinostatic activity (resveratrol, vitamin E and selenium) in modulation of blood platelet adhesion. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2000;51:513-20.

    18. Novakovic A, Bukarica LG, Kanjuh V, Heinle H. Potassium channels-mediated vasorelaxation of rat aorta induced by resveratrol.Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2006 Nov;99(5):360-4.

    19. Jang M, et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes. Science 1997;275(5297):218-20.

    20. Subbaramaiah K, et al. Resveratrol inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 transcription and activity in phorbol ester-treated human mammary epithelial cells. J Biol Chem 1998;273(34):21875-82.

    21. Elmali N, Baysal O, Harma A, Esenkaya I, Mizrak B. Effects of Resveratrol in Inflammatory Arthritis. Inflammation. 2006 Nov 4.

    22. Schroecksnadel K, Winkler C, Wirleitner B, Schennach H, Weiss G, Fuchs D. Anti-inflammatory compound resveratrol suppresses homocysteine formation in stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(10):1084-8.

    23. Anekonda TS. Resveratrol--a boon for treating Alzheimer's disease?Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2006 Sep;52(2):316-26.

    24. Wang J, Ho L, Zhao Z, Seror I, Humala N, Dickstein DL, Thiyagarajan M, Percival SS, Talcott ST, Pasinetti GM. Moderate consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon attenuates Abeta neuropathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. FASEB J. 2006 Nov;20(13):2313-20.

    25. Marambaud P, Zhao H, Davies P. Resveratrol promotes clearance of Alzheimer's disease amyloid-beta peptides. J Biol Chem. 2005 Nov 11;280(45):37377-82. Epub 2005 Sep 14. PMID: 16162502.

    26. Luo L, Huang YM. [Effect of resveratrol on the cognitive ability of Alzheimeros mice] Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2006 Aug;31(4):566-9.

    27. Yanez M, Fraiz N, Cano E, Orallo F.( -)-Trans-epsilon-viniferin, a polyphenol present in wines, is an inhibitor of noradrenaline and 5-hydroxytryptamine uptake and of monoamine oxidase activity. Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Aug 7;542(1-3):54-60.

    28. Energy Times, "The French Paradox," pg. 80. September 1999. 

    29. Folts, JD. Potential health benefits from the flavonoids in grape products on vascular disease. Adv Exp Med Biol 2002;505:95-111. 

    30. Olszewski, A. J.; et al. Reduction of plasma lipid and homocysteine levels by pyridoxine, folate, cobalamin, choline, riboflavin, and troxerutin in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis 75 no. 1 (Jan, 1989): 1-6. 

    31. Dixon JB, Dixon ME, O'Brien PE. Reduced plasma homocysteine in obese red wine consumers: a potential contributor to reduced cardiovascular risk status. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002 Jul;56(7):608-614. 

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