red wine

If such a thing as a youth elixir existed, what would it contain? In Japan they are taking swigs of collagen and pig placenta. Nutritional supplements crammed with vitamins and antioxidants are the most common anti-aging shortcuts. Now super juices are gaining popularity. For a while acai was all the rage, and then the headlines turned toward resveratrol. The problem with most of these potions and pills is that the benefits are not scientifically proven and the beneficial components are not readily bioavailable. Typically, the chosen substance is present in an amount too small to make any difference in the human body.

ResVitale, which produces a line of organic resveratrol supplements, avoids this last problem by putting the resveratrol content in a glass of wine to red-faced shame. With a blend topping 400 glasses of wine in each serving - far outdoing even the world’s first patented resveratrol beverage - ResVitale touts an extremely high concentration of the anti-aging polyphenol. Does its unique recipe of resveratrol and other antioxidants add up to anti-aging magic? I used a full 30-day supply in an attempt to squeeze out an answer.

Much has been made about resveratrol’s connection to the French Paradox - that the French demonstrate a relatively low incidence of heart disease in spite of their generally high fat diets. Of course, these fatty foods are often paired with wine, which is where resveratrol comes in. A polyphenol found in the seeds, skin, stem, and vine of red wine grapes, resveratrol is not only a supercharged antioxidant but also a mysterious anti-ager, suspected of restricting dietary energy intake, slowing down the degenerative effects of aging, protecting from Alzheimer’s disease, preventing cancer, and warding off arthritis. How many (if any) of these claims hold water is a question that has been put to the test repeatedly.

The hype started when Harvard University research published in a 2006 issue of Nature found that resveratrol mimics the effects of dietary restriction to delay age-related diseases in middle-aged mice, significantly increasing their survival. It is in large part thanks to this study that red wine is today linked to longevity. In 2008, researchers in Rochester discovered that resveratrol cripples the core of malignant cancer cells and at the same time protects normal tissue from the harmful effects of radiation. This discovery coincided with a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study showing that acetylated resveratrol protected mouse cells when administered before treatment with radiation.

Each of these studies was either conducted with petri dishes or rodents in a lab. So unless you are a single-celled organism or a mouse donated to science, their findings may not do you any good. Headlines regaling resveratrol often failed to mention that it takes massive amounts of the stuff (about 1,500 bottles of wine a day) to make a dent in the human body.

Earlier this year, a study by Amgen and another by Pfizer directly contradicted the now widely accepted Harvard research proving that resveratrol offers the same benefits as a calorie-restriction diet. Could it be a coincidence that both of these companies are direct competitors with GlaxoSmithKline, which has millions of dollars tied up in R&D on resveratrol? Regardless of the corporate back-stabbing that may be at play, we seem to be no closer to a resolution regarding resveratrol’s effects on human health.

Trans-resveratrol is the specific bioactive form of the polyphenol believed to turn on the sirtuin gene, also known as the “longevity gene,” and to improve cellular function. In its most potent product, ResVitale packs in 500mg of trans-resveratrol, the antioxidant equivalent of 2,000 glasses of red wine. Yet, someone taking resveratrol supplements may not reap the potent polyphenol’s benefits simply because most of the drug gets discharged in the urine. A study supported by the NIH found that only trace amounts of dietary resveratrol could be detected in the blood.

Luckily, there is much more to ResVitale than poorly assimilated trans-resveratrol. On top of trans-Resveratrol (500 mg), the remaining ingredients include: 50 mg of organic French red wine polyphenol extract (skin, seeds, and stem) (Vitis vinifera), organic Muscadine red grapes and seed (Vitis rotundifolia), 1000 mg wild natural Japanese Knotweed extract (Polygonum cuspidatum) standardized to 50%, and 40 mg Quercetin (as quercetin dihydrate). Each of these botanical extracts is an extremely powerful antioxidant. Could ResVitale's cocktail of ingredients possess the power to turn back, or at least slow down, the clock?

After using up my 30-day supply of ResVitale 500 mg, I couldn’t discern a difference as my body assimilated the actives. But who knows if continued use will confer a longer life, enhanced mental efficiency, and protection from degenerative diseases? By the same token, it is unclear based on the current body of research whether reseveratrol supplements can in fact improve human health. The one thing that I can say is that ResVitale won’t do any harm, especially considering its dedication to sourcing the purest nutrient-rich ingredients.

Beyond trans-resveratrol, ResVitale provides plenty of backup ammunition against aging with its stockpile of Vitis vinifera, Japanese Knotweed extract (another source of resveratrol), and Quercetin. Its grapes are sourced from organic farms, thus removing the risk that harmful toxins in fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides will be absorbed by the body. If any combination of nutritional antioxidants can prove to have age-reversing benefits, I’d put my money on ResVitale.