As I implied in an earlier discussion of resveratrol, the increasingly compelling data on this compound has encouraged me to do a little bit of research about taking it myself, as a dietary supplement (supplementary, that is, to what I already get as part of a wine-rich lifestyle).
I’m currently in the homework/due diligence phase, considering issues of price and purity as I look around for a source that I can (a) afford and (b) have some objective reason to trust.
As a pure compound, resveratrol is prohibitively expensive. As an unregulated “nutraceutical,” however, it’s still costly (~$450 per annum), but of uncertain potency. None of the commercial suppliers I can find are straightforward about how many mg of resveratrol their products contain. Even among the more reputable-seeming and less fly-by-night vendors, there tends to be a lot of misleading indirection on the labels — take, for instance, the label for Revatrol:
How much resveratrol is in one caplet? Not 400 mg, to be sure, but that’s not very helpful, and it seems like the vendor is taking pains to avoid making a statement that they can be held to (e.g., the knotweed extract might be 15% resveratrol, but it’s not clear what proportion of the proprietary mix is knotweed extract, so what looks deceptively like data is really just a meaningless number).
Several of the other plant-derived compounds quoted on the label are also potent anti-oxidants, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that a big part of resveratrol’s activity is via activation of sirtuins, and that the antioxidant properties are either significantly less important or a complete red herring — so I’m not terribly impressed by those.
Given that the current literature is focusing on resveratrol explicitly, I’d like to see a commercial supplier take the plunge and do some analytical chemistry on their own product, establishing once and for all how much resveratrol is contained in each dose — and then standing by it for all time, ideally with the assay results for each lot to be shipped along with every bottle.
Because I’m willing to make myself a guinea pig, but not a chump.
Has anyone else looked into these supplements? I looked at four or five different suppliers; while I liked Revatrol the most, I still wasn’t sold. If you have done any thinking or research about this, please leave a comment. Let us know how you evaluated different products and (if you got that far) how you made your choice. (If you’re affiliated with or are taking money from a supplier, please opt yourself out. I’ll just expose and mock you, and no one wants that.)