Best Resveratrol Supplements Tested & Reviewed
A natural compound in red wine may have potent anti-aging and disease-fighting properties, and it’s being sold in supplement form. You may have noticed all the buzz about the antioxidants in red wine over the past few years, and resveratrol is the reason behind it.
Resveratrol is a natural compound (polyphenol) found in red grape skin, cocoa, Japanese knotweed, peanuts, blueberries, and some other berries. It’s a powerful antioxidant produced by plants to protect them against environmental stresses such as fungal diseases and sun damage.
Our Top 3 Picks
Most resveratrol capsules sold in the U.S. contain extracts from an Asian plant, Polygonum cuspidatum. Other resveratrol supplements are made from red wine or red grape extracts. To help you sort through the wide variety of the best resveratrol supplements, we’ve assembled a list of products for the best value.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in red grape skin, cocoa, Japanese knotweed, peanuts, blueberries, and some other berries. It’s a powerful antioxidant produced by plants to protect them against environmental stresses such as fungal diseases and sun damage. Antioxidants–among other benefits–neutralize free radicals, which are believed to be the cause of aging.
How does resveratrol work? It’s a stillbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin (an antimicrobial compound) produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens like bacteria or fungi. If that seems too complicated, it’s basically a compound produced by plants to fight off disease–and researchers are theorizing that it could help us fight off aging and disease, too.
Grapes produce resveratrol in their skin to protect the plant against fungal diseases and sun damage. Red wine contains small amounts of resveratrol. That’s why you’ll most commonly hear about resveratrol supplements in relation to wine; it has higher levels of the natural compound compared to other natural food. Overall, red wine contains small amounts of resveratrol, less than 1-2 mg of 8 oz. of red wine. However, red wine has more resveratrol than white wine because red wines are fermented with the grape skins longer than white wines.
10 Top Rated Resveratrol Supplements
With all the supplement options out there, choosing between them can be a struggle. We’ve reviewed 8 best resveratrol supplements and evaluated them for quality and price.
1. Greens Plus, Resveratrol Plus (120 veggie caps)
- Made from pure red wine grapes
- Contains vitamin C
- Provides a youthful appearance
- Somewhat expensive
2. Jarrow Formulas, Resveratrol Synergy (60 tablets)
- Excellent support for the cardiovascular system
- Boots immune system
- Potent formula
- Contains only 20 mg of Resveratrol
3. North American Herb & Spice Co. - Resvera-Flo
- Made from purple muscadine berry
- Powerful antioxidant
- High quality product
- Somewhat expensive
4. Country Life, Resveratrol Plus (60 veggie caps)
It can also promote healthy aging and support the cardiovascular system.
This product is certified gluten-free, and Country Life is a company that prides itself on delivering excellent products.
That's why this product is number 1 on our best resveratrol supplements list.
- Support for the immune system
- Powerful antioxidant
- May promote the activation of the SIRT1 gene
5. Now Foods, Natural Resveratrol, 200 mg, (60 veggie caps)
The product is produced in a GMP facility that processes other ingredients containing these allergens, however.
This product is painstakingly quality assured and comes at a reasonable price.
- Support for the cardiovascular system
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Produced in a GMP facility
- The dosage may be too high for some
6. Nature's Answer, Resveratrol Reserve, Cellular Complex, 5 fl oz (150 ml)
This supplement is both affordable and free from artificial ingredients, from sweeteners to alcohol and benzoates/sorbates.
Check it out if you just want a basic resveratrol supplement.
- Free of artificial ingredients
- Alchohol free
- Benzoates/sorbates free
- The liquid is quite thick
7. Doctor's Best, Best Trans-Resveratrol 100, 100 mg (60 veggie caps)
- High quality ingredients
- Extensively tested for heavy metals, bacterial and fungal contaminants
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- May cause stomach cramps
8. ReserveAge Nutrition, Resveratrol, Cellular Age-Defying Formula, 250 mg (60 veggie caps)
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Made from organic red grape polyphenol blend
- Powerful antioxidant
- High priced
Theories About Resveratrol
Do you remember that 2011 study whose results suggested that wine could be “exercise in a bottle”? That’s because resveratrol was shown to counter the effects of inactivity in mice. Don’t start downing red wine, though–for a human to consume that much resveratrol just from wine, they would have to drink about 700 bottles! Research is still ongoing in this area; for now, don’t assume that a lack of exercise combined with excessive wine consumption will lead to a healthy lifestyle. As usual, consume everything in moderation along with frequent exercise.
Others have hypothesized that resveratrol is responsible for low rates of heart disease in the French population compared to other populations, in spite of their many risk factors (including a high fat diet, frequent smoking, and consumption of large amounts of coffee). Basically, because many French people drink moderate amounts of red wine, they benefit from the antioxidant properties of resveratrol. Of course, other factors could be affecting the health of the French population in conjunction with red wine consumption.
Why Take Resveratrol Daily?
So what’s with all the fuss about resveratrol supplements? Since the levels of resveratrol are so low in red wine, cocoa, and certain berries, daily supplements are an easy way to get an antioxidant boost with very little effort. Remember that this supplements typically contain far lower dosages than the amounts used in research studies that produced beneficial results. Most contain 250-500 mg of resveratrol; to get the equivalent dose in some animal studies, a person would have to consume 2 grams of resveratrol (2,000 mg) or more a day. However, you can’t overdose on resveratrol and taking even a small amount will provide some antioxidant benefits. These could include enhanced endurance, cardiovascular security, reduced inflammation, lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, a testosterone boost in men, increased mental sharpness, the prevention of diabetes, decreased risk of heart attack, and increased longevity. There are many possible health benefits to taking resveratrol supplements (not all of them well-researched), and we will examine them next.
Health Benefits of Resveratrol
Resveratrol supplements could enhance or even replace endurance training results by providing skeletal muscle benefits that are similar to endurance training. A 2012 Canadian study, conducted over a 12-week period on rats, found that resveratrol supplementation also resulted in an increase of endurance, oxidative metabolism, and enhanced cardiac function. Even more intriguingly, the combination of endurance training with a resveratrol supplement resulted in a performance increase of 21%. That means those who hate endurance training could potentially skip it and take a supplement instead. However, to see the best results, consider combining endurance training with resveratrol supplementation.
Resveratrol, like many other antioxidants, may also be able to reduce the risk of cardiac disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease ranked as the leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2011. A Canadian study in 2005 found that by drinking one to two 5-ounce glasses of wine per day, study participants significantly reduced their risk of developing artherosclerotic disease, a precursor to heart disease and stroke. This type of risk reduction actually reduced their risk of death by roughly 30%. Supporting this finding, researchers in Connecticut determined that resveratrol preconditions your heart, providing it with the best protection to avoid cardiac arrest.
The resveratrol benefits don’t stop at heart disease. Antioxidants can help prevent or even slow down cancer. Colon cancer is the most frequently occurring digestive system cancer, and it can be one of the deadliest. A 2005 French study found that resveratrol was able to slow down the production of cancerous cells and therefore could be considered an effective anti-cancer agent.
For many people, vision loss is an accepted part of the aging process. A 2010 study by Missouri researchers found that resveratrol has the ability to regulate angiogenesis, preventing the abnormal growth of blood vessels that are damaging to eyesight. Consider eating foods healthy for the eyes, such as omega-3 fatty fish and foods rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Men who suffer from declining testosterone levels due to age should visit their doctors and ask for a blood test to determine their levels. Testosterone is a key hormone that regulates body weight, muscle mass, mood, libido, and many other important characteristics of the male body. According to a Korean study conducted in 2008 on mice, resveratrol consumption might be able to help. The researchers found that blood testosterone concentration improved by more than 50% following a 28-day period of supplement intake.
Resveratrol has great health benefits for the body, but it also can improve brain function. One way to sharpen your mind is through increased bloodflow to your brain. A 2009 study conducted by Illinois researchers found that mice receiving resveratrol supplementation had better memory function and overall increased mental performance. In 2010, scientists in the UK studied 22 healthy adults (an admittedly small sample) and determined that neurological blood flow increased following resveratrol consumption.
“Resveratrol has been promoted to have many health benefits such as protecting the heart and circulatory system, lowering cholesterol, and protecting against clots which can cause heart attacks and stroke. Animal studies have suggested it can lower blood sugar levels. Because resveratrol is considered an antioxidant, it is often promoted to reduce the incidence of various cancers. Animal studies also suggest it may lower brain plaque levels in Alzheimer’s disease. However, well-controlled, human clinical trials are lacking in all of these areas and many of the resveratrol claims are based in animal studies in mice. Resveratrol is considered a dietary supplement and is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for any indication. Definitive studies demonstrating appropriate doses, uses, long-term safety and effectiveness have not been conducted.
However, the clinical utility of resveratrol in humans is under investigation. Animal studies in mice suggest there might be benefits of weight loss, reduction in insulin resistance, and reducing mortality in diabetes. Anti-cancer effects have been demonstrated in animals models, as well. Human research with resveratrol is limited. A small and brief randomized, double-blind, cross-over study in the November 2011 issue of Cell Metabolism demonstrated that 150 mg of resveratrol once daily for 30 days significantly lowered mean systolic and arterial blood pressure, tumor necrosis factor (a marker of inflammation), plasma glucose and insulin concentrations, and plasma triglyceride concentrations, among other findings. Adverse reactions to this supplement were not seen in the study. Researchers have noted that longer studies at higher doses are required before results can be confirmed.
Heather Hausenblas, an associate professor at the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., quoted another recent study published in the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology She said that the study showed that people who took resveratrol orally for more than 60 days noticed improvements in their skin. Their skin was more moist, less rough, had better elasticity, and participants’ age spots had decreased. Another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2011, found that the people who used a gel containing resveratrol on their skin for 30 days reduced acne by about 54% percent.
Heather Hausenblas, an associate professor at the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida in Gainseville, Fla., said to CBSNews.com that another recent study published in the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in Oct. 2012 showed that people who took resveratrol orally for more than 60 days had improvements in their skin. Their skin was more moist, less rough, had better elasticity, and participants’ age spots had decreased. Another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2011 found that people who used a gel containing resveratrol on their skin for 30 days reduced acne by about 54 percent, according to a Global Acne Grading System (GAGS).
Hausenblaus emphasized the important thing to note about the studies is that the subjects took resveratrol for an extended period of time, not just did a one-time treatment. She likened it to taking prescription medication once over two weeks instead of every day: “You aren’t going to see an effect,” she said.
Possible Resveratrol Side Effects
Since resveratrol has only recently been studied, no researchers have discovered any severe side effects, even when resveratrol is taken in large doses. However, beware this supplement if you take blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), and NSAID medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. The mixture of the two drugs may increase your chance of bleeding.
Be aware that the FDA does not regulate resveratrol because it does not regulate dietary supplements. This makes it difficult to know exactly what you’re getting and whether the product is effective. Be careful and practical when evaluating dietary supplements, and never substitute them for a meal on its own. If there is no specific dosage recommendation, vary how many pills you get from supplement to supplement.
Drugs That Can Affect Resveratrol
Resveratrol supplements might react badly with blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, increasing the risk for bleeding.
Do not take Resveratrol if . . .
You have a blood disorder, as the supplement can cause bleeding. You should be monitored by a physician while taking this product. People undergoing surgery should stop taking resveratrol two weeks before the surgery and not take it for two weeks after the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding.
Patients who have blood disorders, which can cause bleeding, should be monitored by a physician while taking this product. People undergoing surgery should stop taking resveratrol two weeks before the surgery and not take it for two weeks after the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding.
Do not take resveratrol supplements or excessive amounts of natural foods containing it while pregnant or breast-feeding. There is a lack of research in this area to prove safety. it should be avoided in children.
Resveratrol has mild estrogenic activity and until more is known, women with cancers and other conditions that are estrogen-sensitive should seek medical advice before taking supplements of this nature.
Resveratrol reduces the activity of enzymes involved with drug metabolism, but whether it has a significant effect in humans has not been studied.