Is resveratrol an antioxidant?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol, which can be considered a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your body by removing a certain type of cell called a free radical that causes damage to your cells. But you need the antioxidants inside your cell, not delivered to your stomach. For resveratrol to be effective, it needs to be in one form. As soon as it is exposed to air, it converts to both forms and becomes ineffective. So if you obtain resveratrol made in oxygen or in nonsingle-serve nitrogen-packed foil packs, you are buying inactive ingredients that are only a wallet transfer between you and the manufacturer. Resveratrol is a substance found in peanut butter, the skin of some grapes, and in red wine.


Does this mean wine is good for you? Maybe, but in small doses. Ask your doctor about the right amount of wine and other alcohol for you. We suggest one drink for the ladies and two for the gents.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes. This natural compound may offer health benefits. You can find resveratrol in white and red wines and grapes. You can also purchase it as a dietary supplement in powder, tablet or liquid form. Some manufacturers even sell a resveratrol patch. Some potential benefits of resveratrol include:
  • boosting circulation and heart health
  • improving memory and brain health
  • improving the health of skin
  • increasing energy
  • lowering blood sugar
  • preventing damage to cells
  • protecting against cancer
  • reducing heart attacks and strokes
  • reducing inflammation and pain
Before taking resveratrol, talk to your doctor. Certain people may want to avoid this supplement, including children, pregnant women and people with blood disorders.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.