Even though wine lovers the world over tout the benefits of resveratrol, they are only partially true. Many claim that resveratrol can help to increase lifespan, but studies suggest that this isn’t the case.

Resveratrol is beneficial, but mostly as a way to increase insulin sensitivity [1] and increase blood flow to the brain [2]. It will help increase the quality of life though it does not have any research that it can increase the length of life just yet.

Wine lovers can also rejoice because of the longevity and neuroprotective effects of resveratrol. Specifically, the compound can remove neurotoxins that cause Alzheimer’s disease [3]. Even though more evidence is needed to support the use of resveratrol, there are many current benefits for the brain to utilize.

Also Known As

Red Wine Extract, 3, 5, 4′-trihydroxystilbene

Editors’ Thoughts on Resveratrol

Before researching resveratrol, my only interaction with the compound was through my grandparents. They were vegetarians who ate as best as they could, but realistically weren’t that healthy and they tried to bridge the gap with supplements. One of them was resveratrol.

It seems a low dose of resveratrol could be beneficial, but as Examine editor Kurtis Frank notes, there aren’t really any novel mechanisms at play. It seems plenty of other options can do the same thing as resveratrol.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor

Benefits of Resveratrol

The main short-term benefit of resveratrol is cerebral blood flow, but there aren’t many studies that focus on this effect. The lone existing study showed that dosages of resveratrol could help increase blood flow to the brain and that did not increase cognitive performance at all [4].

The more long-term neuroprotective effect also supports the aging brain by detoxifying and increasing insulin sensitivity. Both of these can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related decline [5].

Resveratrol also has benefits for insulin sensitivity and that is often considered outside of the brain health spectrum, but it is not. There is plenty of evidence for some scientists to suggest that Alzheimer’s disease is nothing more than type 3 diabetes, the result of severe insulin impairment.

There is also evidence to suggest poor insulin sensitivity and fasting blood glucose levels can affect cognitive abilities in the short-term. It is too much of a stretch to say resveratrol can support brain health in this way, but it does help with insulin metabolism.

How Does Resveratrol Work?

It seems the main benefit of resveratrol is in preventing the buildup of plaques and neurotoxins that can cause degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Specifically, resveratrol helps to prevent neurotoxicity from beta-amyloid and tau accumulation [6]. By reducing these neurotoxins, the brain is more free to make connections for longer.

Another neuroprotective mechanism is by promoting an antioxidant enzyme, which can aid in the health of neurological connections [7].

Side Effects of Resveratrol

Almost every doctor will suggest some form of mild to moderate exercise, but one side effect of resveratrol is to negative the benefits of exercise activity. The typical health benefits, such as increased oxygen capacity and reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol, are negated if resveratrol is consumed beforehand [8].

Resveratrol can also have negative consequences by increasing oxidation [9] and theoretically prevents muscle synthesis [10]. Healthy individuals should be warned of these side effects especially prior to a rigorous workout. This suggests timing of resveratrol is important.

Toxicity doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with resveratrol. The “no observable adverse effect limit” is around 200 mg / kg in rats and up to 600 mg / kg in dogs [11], which suggests that high doses would be well tolerated in humans. In fact, one study showed 5 grams of resveratrol (5 – 10 times the recommended dosage) leads to no side effects besides gastrointestinal distress [12].

Resveratrol Dosage

The dosage of resveratrol will primarily depend on your goals. Supplementation tends to be around 5 – 10 mg daily for general longevity and cardiovascular health. Ranges of up to 150 – 450 mg have also been used.

The standard dosage is around 250 – 500 mg if resveratrol is being consumed for the purposes of improving cerebral blood flow and brain health.

How and Where to Buy Resveratrol

Resveratrol is one of the most commonly available supplements in the past decade primarily due to false claims about longevity and lifespan. Either way, it is relatively simple to take advantage of this by visiting a nearby health food or grocery store.

You can also choose to purchase resveratrol online, which comes with a host of benefits. Any time you buy resveratrol online, you have the opportunity to get the best price and understand the different vendor offerings.

Nootropedia suggests that you find resveratrol for sale from the Reserveage brand, which comes in the right dose despite their “age defying formula” marketing.

Selected Community Experiences

Time of day, dietary behaviour and disease status are all going to play a role as to whether high dose resveratrol (relative to red wine consumption) is going to be of any benefit.” [13] – shrillthrill

As of right now, Resveratrol has been degraded from “Oh mah lawd miracle life extension drug” to “Probably is good for blood circulation and insulin sensitivity, but is unlikely to influence lifespan”. In unhealthy persons, benefits can be seen a the 3-5mg range for insulin sensitivity. There is one study using 500mg resveratrol noting increased blood flow to the brain (which some persons into nootropics likes).” [14] – silverhydra

References (Click to Expand)
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Nootropedia is meant to be a resource for individuals researching drugs and supplements that are good for brain health, otherwise known as nootropics, and thus we are the Nootropics Encyclopedia. Because of our in-depth coverage of this topic, our community has requested that we cover other brain health topics and "lifehacks" so that has become the focus of Nootropedia.