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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine Febuary 2008
Reports

Living Longer, Healthier Lives with Resveratrol

By David Nayor and Dale Kiefer

How Much Resveratrol Should You Take?

Scientific studies in animals reveal that resveratrol can extend life span, slow aging, and favorably alter gene expression in a manner similar to caloric restriction, the only proven method of extending maximum life span in mammals. These findings suggest that resveratrol supplementation might benefit aging humans.

The positive effects of resveratrol have been shown at a wide variety of doses ranging from a few milligrams to over a thousand milligrams daily. For example, a validated model of colon cancer suggests that a human equivalent dose of as little as 2.3 mg of resveratrol daily is protective.43 Other scientific studies investigating the effect of resveratrol on tumor angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels that permit rapid tumor growth) indicate that a human equivalent dose range of 14 mg to 1,129 mg of resveratrol may be effective in slowing tumor growth.44,45

How Much Resveratrol Should You Take?

An experimental study of cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart muscle) suggests benefits of a human equivalent dose of 113 mg to 565 mg of resveratrol daily.46 This very same study showed that this wide dose range increased endothelial nitric oxide levels by 76.2% and 90.3%, and decreased artery-constricting levels of angiotensin II by 12.4% and 15.3%, respectively. Nitric oxide is a molecule that is critical for ensuring healthy endothelial (inner arterial wall) function.

A 2007 experimental study of heart attack showed that a human equivalent dose of 28 mg improved left ventricular function, decreased heart attack size, and increased activity of the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD).47 Another study showed that a human equivalent dose of 226 mg of resveratrol increased recovery of at-risk heart muscle following a decrease in oxygen and blood supply.48

Studies also support the benefit of resveratrol in strongly counteracting free radical stress. For example, a 2006 study showed that a human equivalent dose of 113 mg improved the contractile response of the urinary bladder and prevented oxidative tissue damage.49

Research supported by the Life Extension Foundation found that the human equivalent dose of 20 mg of resveratrol combined with 100 mg of grapeseed extract mimicked many of the favorable gene expression effects of caloric restriction.

The amount of resveratrol found in a glass of red wine has been estimated to be around 4.77 mg, though the actual amount of resveratrol contained in red wine is subject to wide variations.50 If resveratrol is the key active ingredient in red wine that protects vascular health, then moderate red wine drinkers would obtain moderate doses of resveratrol daily. Readers should note that the act of drinking red wine with most meals (as the French do) may play a significant factor in its apparent protection against heart attack. That’s because much of the arterial damage inflicted by poor dietary habits occurs right after the meal is ingested, when the blood stream is saturated with fats and sugars and undergoes oxidative-inflammatory stress.

Red wine poylphenols (such as resveratrol) would neutralize some of this after-meal arterial damage. The table on the opposite page summarizes published studies in which a human equivalent dose can be ascertained. Missing from this table are human equivalent doses for some of the spectacular studies that the media has reported on showing that resveratrol significantly extends life span. It is not possible to accurately extrapolate human dose equivalents from these small cell studies, yet some researchers are so confident about the anti-aging potential of resveratrol that they are personally taking doses of 250 mg a day and higher.

So the question begs, how much resveratrol a day should you take? Life Extension has demonstrated in a carefully controlled study that 20 mg of resveratrol along with 100 mg of grapeseed extract favorably alters gene expression in a way that might slow aging, protect against age-related degenerative diseases, and extend life span.

There remains the intriguing possibility, however, that far higher doses of resveratrol might produce better anti-aging benefits. As a result, dedicated Life Extension members have been increasing their resveratrol intake to 100-300 mg a day and higher.

An interesting analogy can be drawn from our experience with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamin D. Japanese doctors initially prescribed only 30 mg of CoQ10 a day for heart disease patients and observed modest improvements. When higher doses of CoQ10 were administered, significantly better results occurred not only for the heart, but also the brain. A 400 IU daily dose of vitamin D was once thought adequate, yet newer studies show that doses ranging from 800 IU to 10,000 IU are needed to make a significant positive impact on one’s health and longevity.

While we cannot recommend that aging people exceed 250-400 mg of resveratrol daily, we also cannot argue with the logic of seeking the potential longevity benefits that may be associated with higher-dose resveratrol supplementation. The one factor that is not variable is that we are all aging and very few compounds have been identified that may protect against this pathological phenomenon. The encouraging news for consumers is that resveratrol prices are coming down, and it is now possible for most people to affordably ingest much higher amounts of resveratrol.

Table: Resveratrol experimental study data and human equivalent dose:

Experimental mode
Dose
(mg/kg body weight)
Animal
Human Equivalent Dose
(mg/day assuming154 lbs. human)
Reference

Colon Cancer

0.2

Rat

2.3

43

Neuroblastoma

40

Mouse

228

51

Inhibition of Tumor angiogenesis

2.5-100

Mouse

14.2 to 1129

44, 45

Myocardial infarction

1

Rat

11.3

52

Cardiac oxidant stress

14

Guinea pig

213

53

Cardiac hypertrophy

10 or 50

Rat

113 or 565

46

Myocardial ischemia

2.5

Rat

28

47

Myocardial infarction

20

Rat

226

54

Myocardial ischemia

20

Rat

226

48

Myocardial ischemia,Oxidative stress

2.5

Rat

28

56

Thromboembolic-Antiplatelet activity

5

Mouse

28

57

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