Benefits of Resveratrol: The Jury is Out

What Dr Oz won't tell you about resveratrol: Part 6/6

While the clinical benefits of resveratrol have yet to be proven, in this series, we've shown that there is some reason to be optimistic (LINK). We have also discussed some of the hidden risks (LINKs) inherent in taking resveratrol supplements. In this article, we offer an outlook on the ongoing clinical studies with resveratrol, and I'll give my personal take on resveratrol supplements.

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals: Taking Resveratrol to the Clinic
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals was founded on the merits of a new formulation of resveratrol called SIRT 501, reported to have 5 times the bioavailability of resveratrol alone. The company was acquired by pharma giant GSK in 2008 for three quarters of a billion dollars, which is not chump change by any stretch of the imagination.

According to the company website (LINK), Sirtris has clinical trials ongoing in cancer, diabetes, and is planning trials in the rather broad category of "diseases of aging," which I read as Alzheimer's. I give massive credit to Sirtis for putting their money where their mouths are, and getting rewarded in turn. Time will tell how their clinical trials fare as they test the benefits of resveratrol.

If you must supplement...
You are likely in good hands. Sirtris and others have reported human data with resveratrol (summarized above-LINK and 1). Additionally, this is a situation where enough people are buying this stuff off the internet, and very little buzz is coming up about bad side effects. I still think there will be trouble somewhere down the road, but I represent the minority viewpoint.

Why I don't take resveratrol
The purpose of this website is to be informational. I am not a medical doctor and don't give medical advice. But I am an educated consumer of vitamins and supplements (I currently take 6-10 supplements a day). I am always on the lookout for supplements that are going to help improve my metabolism, bolster my immune system, or generally help my body to function better.

With that said, I don't see enough benefits to resveratrol to outweigh the risks. Most traditional vitamins and supplements have been in use for years, if not centuries. Resveratrol has been around for just as long, but the purified form being marketed now is very new. Scientists simply don't know enough about what this compound does to your body to justify some very lofty claims about the benefits of resveratrol.

I have no direct evidence for this assertion, but I suspect that the current resveratrol supplements rage will eventually have a run-in with the . Why do I say this? This is clearly an active compound. But there is no reason that everything it does to the body will be beneficial. And given that it probably impact sex hormone levels (LINK), there is good reason to believe it will have different effects for different people. The result is that it will take longer for the data to come out on

As I see it, the question comes down to this: Do you want to be a human guinea pig?

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References from the benefits of resveratrol
1. Bishayee, A. "Cancer prevention and treatment with resveratrol: from rodent studies to clincal trials." Cancer Prevention Res. 2 (2009) 409-18.