Grapes and foods derived from grapes, such as wine, are one of the most protective fruits due to their high levels of resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a chemical found in red grape skins, dark grape juice , red wine (Pinot Noir has the highest level), and the Chinese medicinal plant known as Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum or Fallopia japonica).
In the past, resveratrol has demonstrated to improve blood sugar levels, control insulin and stabilize blood pressure. In this new study, researchers looked at resveratrol’s effects on bone health in men with metabolic syndrome, since this condition is associated with low-grade inflammation that can lead to bone loss. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of heart disease risk factors that include; big waist size, reduced HDLs (good cholesterol), and elevated triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose. *
In this new study, researchers confirmed the results from animal studies that showed resveratrol’s potential for increasing bone density in middle-aged men, with results indicating that the polyphenol works by stimulating bone-forming cells (Ornstrup et al. 2014). *
I have been prescribing resveratrol to patients for over five years now due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to maintain normal blood sugar levels (Liu et al., 2014). In my opinion, inflammation and high blood sugar are the two catalysts for aging. It has also shown to help with the production of nitric oxide (NO), a gaseous chemical that nourishes the arteries and helps them expand for better circulation (Xia et al., 2010). *
Now, I bet you’re wondering: how much resveratrol is in a serving of red wine? In one bottle of Pinot Noir, there are about two grams of resveratrol. In most other red wines, there’s about one gram. Note, this does not mean you should drink a bottle of red wine a day. Keep in mind that wine also has alcohol, and alcohol has been linked with cancer. There are also preservatives like sulfites in most wines that may also lead to health problems. But, if you are going to have a drink, a glass or two of Pinot Noir is not a bad choice.
To quote our co-founder, David, to obtain a recommended dosage of 100mg resveratrol per day, you would have to drink approximately 125 glasses of red wine every day. Instead he suggests going with the high-quality dietary supplement as a more practical alternative. I agree.
Besides wine, resveratrol is found in some dietary supplements in the form of Japanese knotweed (also known as Polygonum cuspidatum or Fallopia japonica). As it turns out, the extraction of enough resveratrol from the herb is significantly less expensive than that from grapes.
A glass of wine a day could have health benefits, but fewer risks come with resveratrol in supplement form. But let’s not lose sight of the big picture. To develop strong bones as you age, it’s important to engage in weight-bearing exercise. That said, even though resveratrol is helpful, calcium and exercise should be higher priorities. *
Ornstrup MJ, Harsløf T, Kjær TN, Langdahl BL, Pedersen SB. Resveratrol Increases Bone Mineral Density and Bone Alkaline Phosphatase in Obese Men: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Oct 16:jc20142799.
Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, Mi MT. Effect of resveratrol on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr 2;99(6):1510-1519.
Xia N, Daiber A, Habermeier A, et al. Resveratrol reverses endothelial nitric-oxide synthase uncoupling in apolipoprotein E knockout mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010;335:149–154.