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Is Resveratrol Bad For You?



Short answer

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound that can be found in various plants but is found most commonly in the skin of red grapes. Resveratrol is produced as a protective mechanism when a plant is suffering a “trauma” such as an attack by bacteria, fungus or other pathogens. Reservatrol has been recognized for its various “anti-aging, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory” properties.



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Long answer

Resveratrol is a high powered antioxidant and phytonutrient that is found largely in the skins of red grapes.  Resveratrol can be found in the roots, vines, and seeds but its highest concentration is in the skin.  Resveratrol is classified as a phytoalexin–an antibiotic like substance that is produced by the plant to protect itself from fungus, ultraviolet light, stress or trauma.  Resveratrol is protecting the plant from a harsh environment and many medical researchers feel it can do the same thing for our internal body.   

Resveratrol has been the focus of intense research for many years.  It was the “French Paradox” that created curiosity due to the fact that the French had a not so healthy diet, loved their red wine and had fewer health challenges than most countries.  The research on Resveratrol supports its remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.  Resveratrol is heart healthy and can assist in weight release. 

Studies have demonstrated that Resveratrol can activate an anti-aging gene that has been termed SIRT1.  This gene has also been termed the “skinny gene” due to the fact that this gene can stimulate the mitochondria (responsible for cellular energy) and assist with increasing metabolism and resultant fat loss.  Caloric restriction and Resveratrol appear to be the two main mechanisms that activate this gene. 

Because we live in such a polluted toxic world, Resveratrol provides antioxidant properties that can protect our cells from free-radical damage.  The adverse free-radical oxidation effect is like the “rusting” of the internal body.  Oxidation is damaging to our cells and potentially damaging to our DNA.  Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that can potentially protect against this type of damage.

Free-radicals can also set off internal inflammatory cascades and damage DNA which can become chronic and degenerative.  “Inflammation” has been coined “The Secret Killer” and has been linked to:

  • Chronic arthritic conditions
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neurologic Disease
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Malignancy


Side Effects

Although no significant side effects have been reported with Resveratrol supplements (even with high doses) - as with any supplement you should clear it with your healthcare professional if you are on any medications or have any restrictions with your diet. 

Red Wine has Resveratrol but for obvious reasons, you do not want to drink huge quantities of wine.  The recommended dosage of Resveratrol in supplement form is anywhere from 100-500mg.

Because there is the possibility of a mild anticoagulant effect (from platelet inhibition), individuals on blood thinning meds, Aspirin or NSAIDS should be monitored accordingly. 

There may be an estrogenic effect in people with Estrogen receptor positive cancers, so more research is needed in this area.

In a small group of individuals, some GI upset was noticed but this overall was thought to be negligible.

Commonly found in

  • red grapes and red wine
  • white wine but in very small amounts
  • certain types of traditional teas, including itadori tea (popular in asia)
  • raw cocoa (dark chocolate)
  • lingonberries
  • blueberries
  • mulberries
  • bilberries
  • cranberries
  • peanuts
  • pistachios
  • roots of the japanese knotweed plant


  • supports the activation of an anti-aging gene
  • boost metabolism and energy
  • assists in weight loss
  • protect cellular dna from corrosive free-radicals
  • support a healthy heart and blood pressure
  • supports better cognitive function and may protect against dementia
  • blocks the inflammatory cascade and supports joint health and mobility
  • supports gastrointestinal health
  • supports healthy glucose levels
  • supports pulmonary function
  • improve stamina and endurance

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Garden of Life Resveratrol

  • Antioxidant support
  • 350mg Trans-Resveratrol
  • Includes probiotics
  • Boosts heart health
  • Promotes healthy aging
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 12-21-2017
Last updated: 12-01-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 12-21-2017
Last updated: 12-01-2023

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