What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is naturally present in the peel of red grapes (larger amounts), peanuts, berries and other fruits or in the roots of some knotweeds. Resveratrol is produced chemically or by biotechnological synthesis. Commercially, it is extracted from Japanese and Chinese knotweed as well as red grapes. The drug gained its fame due to the French paradox about benefits of red wine in anti-aging and increased life expectancy. However, as reported in a number of studies, resveratrol is only a minor component of red wine.
How does Resveratrol work?
As a nootropic, it was shown in animal studies that the consumption of resveratrol results in enhanced memory, learning and overall increased cognitive performance. In a human control study in the UK, it was reported that resveratrol consumption increases blood flow in the nervous system. The reason for the improvements could not be concluded in the two studies. Research for establishing the mechanisms for resveratrol is ongoing. It is assumed that resveratrol may stimulate the release of certain hormones that promote alertness, attention and awareness.
Effects of Resveratrol
In humans, resveratrol is known to be absorbed very well but it is rapidly digested and excreted from the body. Because of its mechanism, a few studies have reported it, as being a strong antioxidant. It is also assumed that the effect is strongly dependent on the dosage, and may be completely inverse with high dosages. Some investigators have also shown that resveratrol increases insulin’s sensitivity. Based on these effects, resveratrol is also being tested for use in prevention of a number of diseases e.g. heart attack or diabetes.
It is also reported that resveratrol acts similar to caloric restriction, a term used for the reduction in the daily consumption of calories. This mechanism is assumed to be beneficial in enhancing cognitive performance. It is likely to increase the efficacy of energy production by the human cells. In other words, using fewer calories as compared to routine consumption, the cells can produce equivalent amount of energy. According to a human case study, the group of people with caloric restriction, showed a significant improvement in verbal memory compared to those who consumed routine calories. The benefit was attributed to increased brain cell activity due to caloric restriction.
Studies on Resveratrol
Only a few human case studies on resveratrol exist, so it is not well-established how the drug would affect a human’s life throughout the years.
Side-Effects of Resveratrol
Even with consumption of large doses, no reports exist for the appearance of severe side effects. Some people have reported nausea and mild stomach distress when ingesting high doses. Based on the caloric restriction effect, as discussed above, the drug might result in weight loss. Moreover, it is also probable that resveratrol might not interact well with other medicines, especially blood thinners.
Recommended Dosage / Usage Instructions
The dosage for a specific person depends on his/her medical state, body-to-mass index (BMI) and other factors. Patients with cardiovascular diseases are usually recommended low doses. Anyone should consult a physician or specialist for the recommended dosage.
Pregnant or lactating women should be more cautious towards using the drug in any dosage.