Our expert says:
Hi Mo, thank you for the question.
While the health benefits and anti-ageing benefits of resveratrol seem promising, one study has found that it stimulates the growth of human breast cancer cells, possibly because of resveratrol's chemical structure, which is similar to a phtoestrogen. Citing this evidence, some retailers of resveratrol advise that the compound may interfere with oral contraceptives and that women who are pregnant or intending to become pregnant should not use the product. Little is known about the absorption and clearance of resveratrol, the identities of its metabolic products, or its effects on the liver. The research on resveratrol has focused on its short-term effects and has been mainly done on non-human models.
Dietician Melissa Q.B. McElderry MS RD comments, "While taking resveratrol pills is certainly safer than heavy consumption of red wine, supplementing with unproven substances is generally unwise. At this point, occasional use of red wine seems far more prudent." Resveratrol can also be found in peanutbutter, peanuts, cranberries, some pine forms and blueberries.
Furthermore resveratol is found in two forms (cis- and a trans- ) and it is thought that the trans- form is the one with all the benefits, while the cis- form may be harmfull. Furthermore, the trans- form will convert to the cis- form if it undergoes heat or gets UV exposure. Both forms are degraded if exposed to light, heat and radiation.
The following is an excerpt from a FDA New Dietary Ingredient Notification:
First, trans-Resveratrol is excluded from the definition of a “dietary supplement” under 21 U.S.C. 321 (ff) (3) (B), because it is an article authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and made public in the U. S.
FDA authorized trans-Resveratrol, which is also known as “resveratrol” or 3,5,4’-trihydroxystilbene, to be an Investigational New Drug on January 30, 2001. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 defined a “new dietary ingredient” as one that was marketed in the U.S. on or after October 15, 1994. This office does not have any information that indicates that trans-Resveratrol was legally marketed as a dietary ingredient in the U.S. before October 15, 1994.
Following from this, and remember that no human studies (excpet those with a daily intake of 25mg) have been done, my advice is to hold on with taking resveratol in a supplement form and to rather eat the foods that contain this ingredient and “occasionally drink red wine”.
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