I would like to start with a complicated question: does resveratrol work to significantly increase longevity and a multitude of other claims, as well? I have found that the answer to this question is certainly not an unqualified yes or no. I’ll try to explain. If employed in a strictly correct way and using a specific type or kind of formula, the answer is very likely yes. Moving away from these ways of use and special formulas you would probably be better off taking a good brand of Vitamin C with added bioflavonoids. Here’s the best info, so far, that can be surmised. Also, resveratrol certainly has not yet been proven in humans, yet it is getting a lot closer to being proven in animals, especially mammals.
The first issue is the question of concentrated standardized percentages of resveratrol. To start off, the resveratrol should only be trans-resveratrol and never any cis-resveratrol—an almost non-active and useless form. The effective standardized percentage needs to be at least 50% because, so far, I and many others have found lower percentages to be lacking effectiveness. Most of the experiments, to date, have used 50%. Some companies are selling up to 98% (at a higher premium). It seems that an all-98% formula or near that percentage creates some side effects like restless legs, jitteriness, stomach upset (upper and lower GI), and mild headache in some people. In experiments, when ingested, the 50% alone had the highest level of absorption, but was still pretty low—if it is ingested alone, without other ingredients. The 98% was even lower in absorption and may adversely affect the colon and liver as the by-products of resveratrol glucuronide and resveratrol sulfate are created in larger quantities.
There is a way to decrease the side effects and substantially increase the absorption rates. Somewhere between 1,000–1,500 mg of resveratrol per day seems like the right amount for adult humans, but it is very age-related in humans—also you have to have good absorption. Resveratrol fairly quickly breaks down and some oxidizes once it enters the digestive tract. The 98% has a greater affinity for this oxidation effect than the 50%, which is likely why the side effects increased, even when the same relative amounts were taken, i.e., when nearly twice as much of the 50% is taken as compared to the 98%, the 98% still creates, on average, more side effects. The way to decrease the oxidation process is to simultaneously ingest a lot of the very highest antioxidant possible—in the correct ratios. So far this seems to be about a 10 to 1 ratio of the highest quality antioxidant relative to resveratrol’s affinity to oxygen by weight in milligrams. Rosehips, specifically from Rosa Canina, is likely the single highest antioxidant. It also greatly helps to combine these ingredients right into the pill, which further protects the resveratrol once it is made. This scheme is better than using nitrogen or other inert elements in the bottle or pills, because oxygen is actually in the resveratrol right from the beginning of its manufacture and cannot be effectively and completely removed. The oxygen has a greater affinity for the rose hips (above) than for either the resveratrol or nitrogen.
Once the correct type and amount of antioxidant is determined, then a combination of 50% to 98% concentrate is somewhat better than just 50% because once the higher percentage is protected, it can lead to higher blood concentrations. This ratio is somewhere around 2:1 of 50% to 98%—or so, for humans. Once you go over this ratio with too much of the 98% or at least some higher percentage than 50% concentrate, it may not all get absorbed. Note that this ratio is considerably different for animals and younger human adults who usually have very different metabolisms. The higher the metabolic rate, the less of resveratrol and probably of the higher percentage of it is needed, per day.
Now the last piece in the correct resveratrol puzzle seems to be taking relatively less of the daily quantity of resveratrol but more consistently throughout the day; this is particularly true for those taking a higher dose, i.e., we older folks. For us it seems best to take the highest daily amounts but divided every 8 hours, or evenly 3 times per day. Because of their faster metabolism, younger folks and animals can take it either once or, for some (especially pets), better twice a day.
So if you are trying to get at least a good or better than good result from using a resveratrol product, for either yourself or pets, it requires some investigating of products and a sophisticated and pretty regimented use as well. I’ve been using for myself and for those age-appropriate of my family and our pets/dogs and cats the best product of all we tried—most of the rest we first tried (unfortunately) did not work very well for us. Of the many we first tried, here’s what the results were for the best resveratrol formula. This is the one we’ve been using for the 5 months rated on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (most improvements). We got these results: skin smoothness and appearance 9; age spots and old scars 7; excessive yeast reduction, 4; hair and nail thickness and growth 9; muscle hardness and strength 8; gray hair in the dogs 10; gray hair in humans 4; eyesight improvement 2; healing of wounds 6; weight loss 0; wrinkles and sags—more youthful appearance 7; arthritis (Osteo) 5; endurance 4; and memory plus thinking 3.
I’m 61, and the areas that improved the most were those that seemed to have needed the greater help. Although my memory/thinking has been overall great, if you have any of the dementias I wouldn’t hesitate to give resveratrol a try because the prescription alternatives are not very effective in my opinion—although I would use them too, if you can handle the side effects. One resveratrol study on animals showed a 48–90% reduction in beta-amyloid (brain plaque) in various areas of the brain. This nasty stuff not only causes some age spots, it may be the most important causative factor in Alzheimers and some other dementias.
If you take resveratrol regularly as I suggested, it may reduce the risk of some cancers and diabetes according to some animal studies. It also is supposed to help fatty livers. For these five months we’ve been taking formulas made by Forever Young Products. First we tried the human stuff every 8 hours. It was the one that gave the most effective and quickest results without any side effects. Within a month we started the animals on the veterinary formula and saw even faster results. We used half the daily dose given twice per day. For them, these results I trust even more because there can’t be any placebo effects (once you sprinkle the very small amount in their food, the pets seem to not know it’s there!) One of our dogs prefers the miniscule amount in butter and thinks he is getting a treat.
I would really like to hear from others using resveratrol products and their results, especially those longer term users. I’ll keep up with reports of results. Of course, it may be many years before all of the results are in, and especially from large controlled human double blind clinical trials and other studies.