How does resveratrol affect aging?

Researchers do not know for certain how -- or if -- resveratrol affects aging. The compound, which is found primarily in red wine and other plant products, has shown some promise in preventing age-related problems like heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis, but more research is needed.

Scientists say there are several ways resveratrol might have an anti-aging effect. One is that the compound is an antioxidant, so it could protect cells from damage by molecules called free radicals. Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory effects.

In studies in animals, resveratrol has shown protective effects on the heart and blood vessels. However, researchers don't know whether it's effective when taken as a supplement.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Resveratrol (a chemical found in grape skins) may be the prototype for substances that can protect cells and mitochondria specifically, as calorie restriction does, and therefore have benefits greater than just retarding or reversing age-related disease. This type of resveratrol-like substance may reverse or retard the aging process itself. It may be that fish helps you to live to ninety-five at the top of your quality-of-life curve, whereas resveratrol from grape skins or red wine may help you live to one hundred twenty or one hundred fifty at the top of your curve. (According to the studies I have read, all grape skins apparently contain some resveratrol, but the amounts vary greatly.)
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