Can resveratrol keep you young?

Consumer Reports looks at the anti-aging claims

Published: September 12, 2013 03:00 PM

Recent tests of supplements containing resveratrol—the ingredient in red wine purported to, among other things, help you live longer—suggest that most of the products do contain their claimed amounts of the substance. But that doesn't mean you should take them.  

The recent tests were conducted by ConsumerLab.com, an indepedent organization not affiliated with Consumer Reports that tests nutrition products. It reported that its analysis of 18 supplement products found that many contained their claimed amounts of resveratrol and passed other important tests. That's basically good news, as far as it goes. 

But our recent investigation into the claims of anti-aging supplements, including resveratrol, wasn't very encouraging. Yes, some research hints that resveratrol, found in the skin of grapes used in red wine, mimics the effects of calorie restriction, which has been found to extend the lives of lab animals. But Consumer Reports finds there's no evidence that resveratrol will keep people young.

See our coverage of vitamins and supplements.

Our advice? The best way to age gracefully is with good habits, such as healthy diet and regular exercise.  And a little red wine, or other alcholic beverage, might be OK, too, as long as you keep it under control. That means no more than two drinks a day for men and one a day for women. (See our buying guide for wine.) But note that the research shows that for most people, the heart-healthy benefits of drinking alcohol don't outweigh all the potential risks, including disease and damage from imbibing too much.


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