Why Dr Oz Talks About Resveratrol
Frequent Oprah guest and host of his popular eponymous health show, Dr Oz, "America's Doctor," has been frequently seen lately on ads for a nutritional supplement called resveratrol. Commonly associated with red wine and increased longevity, the science behind resveratrol goes back quite far, and its life-extending benefits, at least in animals, is well-documented.
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a naturally-occurring substance called a phytoalexin, that certain plants produce to ward off fungal attack. Grapes, peanuts and other plants are under constant attack by fungus, and the resveratrol they produce can prevent the fungus from taking hold and damaging the plant. For reasons that are not completely understood, the same substance that prevents fungal growth in plants makes animals, from the lowly yeast all the way up to mice in laboratory tests, live considerably longer, with fewer health problems (like diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and even exhibit the behavior of younger animals, in terms of endurance and motor skills.
Information about resveratrol, a naturally-occurring antioxidant in red wine. Research is demonstrating its ability to extend lifespan, counter the effects of obesity and Alzheimer's disease, and increase endurance.
Which Resveratrol Does Dr. Oz Recommend?
The answer is none. He does not endorse any particular brand of resveratrol, even those whose ads misleadingly feature his picture, nor does he profit from any particular company's product. In fact, since it's clear that he does not endorse any product, I think it's safe to say that any that claims to be endorsed by him is fraudulent and not worth buying. Caveat emptor! (read the article on Oprah.com on this)
Watch the video to the right. Note that Dr Oz endorses resveratrol, but does not endorse any particular brand. He does suggest 500 mg per day. Note this is the equivalent of dozens of bottles of red wine per day.
So which resveratrol should you buy? Since you're talking about an important supplement, I strongly suggest doing your research. This is my advice (and I've been taking resveratrol for about 4 years now):
- buy from a reputable company that you've heard of before, that sells nutritional supplements, and has been doing so for some time
- check the label and do the math. Often, the ingredients will say that the pill has Japanese knotweed. That's okay! Japanese knotweed is a natural source of resveratrol, but it means that it's not 100% resveratrol.
- If it says 2 capsules contain 500 mg of Japanese knotweed, which is standardized to contain 50% resveratrol, that means each capsule has 125 mg of resveratrol in it. Be sure you're comparing apples to apples - figure out the cost of 100 mg of pure resveratrol in a bottle and make that the basis of your comparison.
- make sure the manufacturer can demonstrate that the product is tested to contain the levels of resveratrol they're claiming on the bottle. Ask to see a lab report.
- don't get fooled by names like "red wine extract" or "resveratrol complex" in the ingredients. If the manufacturer is worth doing business with, any such ingredients should include what percentage resveratrol it is standardized to contain. If it says something like "resveratrol complex, containing resveratrol, red wine polyphenols and other antioxidants" without telling you how much is resveratrol, steer clear.
- if the ad asks "How does Marisa Tomei/Jennifer Aniston (or any other Hollywood actress) look so young?", avoid.
- don't buy any product that claims resveratrol will get rid of wrinkles, make you lose weight, or make your hair fuller. It can not do any of these things.
- don't buy from any company touting a free trial. Read the fine print and you'll see you are signing yourself up for an expensive monthly refill (that many people have complained to the Better Business Bureau about being impossible to cancel)
Some of the companies' products I have used (this is not an endorsement of my own; I am just sharing those that have met my standards; as I've made clear before, none of these are endorsed by Dr Oz, as Dr Oz has not endorsed any particular brand of resveratrol):
- NSI (Nutraceutical Sciences Institute)
- Source Naturals
- Pure Encapsulations
Based on what I've seen, I strongly discourage spending even a penny on these brands, which I think are scams:
- Biotivia (several shills have even posted comments on this article claiming Dr Oz does endorse this brand, when he clearly does not)
- Resveratrol Ultra...which even stole the picture I had on my article about resveratrol (shameless!)
- Rez Melts
- ResVer XP
- Resveratrol Miracle
- Pure RezV
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
MichaelDeMutis on May 16, 2013:
Have you tried using the liquid form? Nature's Answer...
Justin on April 02, 2013:
I am also interested in knowing about Resverage 500mg. Is this a good product because it is expensive ?
Sam2013 on December 09, 2012:
Hey, this is a very informative article. Thanks!
I was wondering what you thought of Resverage Resveratrol 500mg - The company states that their products are organic as it comes from vineyards of France. Have you tried this supplement? Cost is expensive though. I want to use it for inflammation of my optic nerve.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 17, 2012:
This is a very informative hub. I actually found it through Google's search engine. Thank you!
kcdancerkc on January 07, 2012:
I just purchased Ideal Shape Supplements
250 mg of Resveratrol.
Seems new - cant find anything good or bad about the brand
romea on November 18, 2011:
thank you for clarifying. "now" & "source natural", for instance, feature the desirable trans-resveratrol (if i remember correctly) 'but' both use knotweed. good to know that the source ultimately does not matter.
in the meantime, i read up on wikipedia and highly recommend the information that is provided there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resveratrol.
all in all, resveratrol remains a controversial ingredient and the information (even within the article on wikipedia) is contradictory. at least IMHO.
thank you for the information provided in this page, btw! your follow-up is also remarkable. very appreciated!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on November 18, 2011:
romea: You're right about Nature's Bounty. It wasn't like that before. I'll take them off my list.
Japanese knotweed is not the same thing as "resveratrol from Japanese knotweed." You're right that resveratrol is resveratrol, regardless if it comes from red grapes, peanuts, or Japanese knotweed. But, for example, 25mg of Japanese knotweed does not mean 25mg of resveratrol from Japanese knotweed. It's just some advice to read labels very carefully.
romea on November 18, 2011:
hmmm... where did my earlier comment go? anyway (& sorry in case i am repeating myself)... you are saying:
"don't get fooled by names like "red wine extract" or "resveratrol complex" in the ingredients. If the manufacturer is worth doing business with, any such ingredients should include what percentage resveratrol it is standardized to contain. If it says something like "resveratrol complex, containing resveratrol, red wine polyphenols and other antioxidants" without telling you how much is resveratrol, steer clear."
nature's bounty uses resveratrol complex without further information re: the amount of standardized resveratrol. so, you may want to strike that company from your list.
also, you are writing: "Often, the ingredients will say that the pill has Japanese knotweed. That's okay! Japanese knotweed is a natural source of resveratrol, but it means that it's not 100% resveratrol."
please enlighten us as to why the resveratrol from knotweed is not 100% resveratrol. (i was under the assumption that resveratrol means... well... resveratrol... ;-)) most of the companies you list as recommendable use resveratrol sourced from knotweed, so it would be interesting to know the difference between the 2 resveratrols...
Ellie on November 05, 2011:
I just started taking resveratrol diet supplements.. I hope they can make me lose weight!!!
donna on July 15, 2011:
It Vivix,tastes good. It also tastes strong. I'd love to hear comments. I've just begun taking it! It is expensive! I feel like it must stand out as exceptional when compared to other sources.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 01, 2011:
Mcsparky: I don't know Rejenx at all, but I suspect that if it's like most resveratrol supplements, it is sourced from Japanese knotweed, which has a small amount of naturally-occurring emodin in it. Emodin has a laxative effect on the body.
MCSPARKY on July 01, 2011:
I have been taking Rejenx brand resveratrol for a couple months now, feel a little better, I understand that it detoxes. When I started taking it my digestion was different. It's a little better now but still have tummy problems with it, is this normal? Should I keep taking it?
email@example.com on January 26, 2011:
I try to pay attention to my body, some things work for me and others don't. Just as one person said don't take resveratrol for wrinkles , and another said they have been taking it for 2 years improved their wrinkles. Interesting.
KLeichester on December 14, 2010:
Interesting points. Keep on posting more like this stuff. Thank you.
gracie on December 01, 2010:
Has anyone heard of VIVIX by Shaklee?
John on November 08, 2010:
Research indicates that resveratrol is almost completely destroyed in the digestive tract. Resveratrol chewed and held in the mouth for a few minutes is about 300 times more effective than if it is just swallowed. (I chew my pills with a small amount of wine/brandy/mouthwash)
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on August 17, 2010:
In case anyone is unclear about Dr Oz's LACK of endorsement of any particular brand of resveratrol, please read this:
Anyone who claims Dr Oz DOES endorse any particular brand of resveratrol without incontrovertible proof is probably a shill for one of the scammy company. Again, caveat emptor!
victor wong on August 08, 2010:
•don't buy any product that claims resveratrol will get rid of wrinkles, make you lose weight, or make your hair fuller. It can not do any of these things.
Although you advice not to listen to the claim above, but it's in fact happenned to me after two years of taking 1500mg of resveratrol.
Nancy on April 22, 2010:
I'd like to know what livelonger thinks of Advantage+ from Longevinex.
kreger on March 19, 2010:
Stop trying to live forever. Your all gonna die sometime. Eat right and have a glass of red now and then or daily if you wish, try eating real food and not stuff out of a box or bag and you'll do yourself more of a favor than spending money on something that promises benefits without real sacrifice
ohrablo831 on February 26, 2010:
I just bought Resveratrol from a company called perfect supplements it's called resGrape Resveratrol all natural 200 mg trans-resveratrol and 1000mg of muscadine grape. 2 daily. Have you heard of this?
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 23, 2010:
I'm guessing because he doesn't want that to be seen as an endorsement of any particular product. There are several brands that one can choose from, as it is a natural product.
healthgoji on February 23, 2010:
why doesn't OZ help people and tell them what he is using? that isn't fair...
healthgoji on February 04, 2010:
Trans-resveratrol is the most potent version and the one you want to look for.
rmcrayne from San Antonio Texas on January 06, 2010:
Currently I am on a comprehensive program of herbals and homeopathics devised by my Naturopath who is also a homeopath and herbalist, and would not take anything outside of his recommendations. In general however, I'm all for alternative/holistic strategies, and personally trust NOW, Source Naturals and Vitamin Shoppe brands.
jenniferhughs on December 31, 2009:
Thanks for sharing your personal research. Great hub.
alfasentari on December 31, 2009:
Great Hub. I'm going to buy a bottle of resveratrol today.
healthgoji on December 10, 2009:
Great information - this is a great health ingredient - trans-resveratrol is the most potent form of resveratrol
mega1 on September 04, 2009:
Do you think there is a problem with extracting one element of an herb or fungus' multiple ingredients in order to target a perceived need? It makes sense to me that by consuming the naturally occuring remedies we achieve a healthier balance. That is why I'm staying away from the pure "drug" derived from natural plant or fungus remedies. But I don't "know" this = it's just a gut feeling. Like very much your sharing this info with us. Thank you.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on August 26, 2009:
Sophia - I'm sorry, but resjuve looks like crap. Great that it doesn't rely on rebilling schemes, but this does not look like a reputable company with a longstanding reputation in the supplements industry.
Sophia on August 25, 2009:
Great Post! You must conduct your due diligence before purchasing Resveratrol Supplements on the net. Free Trial offers are plaguing the internet and these companies are now under investigation by the FTC for their deceptive billing schemes. I recently purchased from www.resjuve.com who do not use free trials and rebilling schemes.
josua on August 07, 2009:
what is wrong with biotivia? it looks better than the ones met your standarts. also the one met your standarts •RevGenetics pills contains (Tween 80) which can be very bad for your health. My advice to all just do your homework good before buy any item. it doesn't matter who advice a brand.
Margie on August 02, 2009:
Wish I 'd rad this BEFORE I got duped. Boy was I shocked when I saw my account had been debited over 85 dollars when I thought all I was getting was a 99 cent sample. I even checked with a live voice rep to assure myself I was only obligated to the 99 cent trial. What scam artists. Buyer Beware!!!!!!!!!! Shameless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
tina on July 12, 2009:
Why do you suggest not using Pliatrol??
Nearing 40 on July 12, 2009:
I've been taking resveratrol for a little over 3 months now and one thing i've noticed is that my energy level has gone up. Is it a coincedence? I don't know.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on July 11, 2009:
Katey: There's a video right above of Dr Oz on Oprah where he says you'd have to drink "a couple of dozen of bottles" of red wine a day. He suggests a resveratrol pill to get enough resveratrol without all the side effects (ahem!) of guzzling that much alcohol.
Katey521 on July 01, 2009:
Seems to me that we can just drink a glass of wine per day and get the best results, rather than buying a pill. I saw that episode and thought that this is what Dr. Oz recommended. Eating or drinking items as close to nature seems to always be the best route, unless someone has an allergy to wine in this case.
Jeremy Lucas on June 30, 2009:
I just started taking resveratrol supplements within the last few months and so far the results have been great. Lots of extra endurance whenever I do any cardio exercise. I did quite a bit of research and can say that livelonger's recommendations for picking a product are spot on.
Garrett McLee from Florida on June 30, 2009:
I'd like to live longer, maybe I'll start taking this.
Then again, what we should and shouldn't put into our bodies changes so often, I think I may just follow my heart (or tongue?)
Jodi Hoeksel on June 25, 2009:
This is a very informative hub!
joy on June 24, 2009:
I understand one of the products you encourage to stay away from is pliatrol. It is my understanding that this is a cream that is advertised with resveratrol ...not a resveratrol product. Correct? Then where can you get the cream ? Does another company make the cream? They do not say what exactly the ingredients that are in it. They are advertised together on some of the scam pages that you feel are out there? Thank you
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on June 24, 2009:
great hub. I like it. thanks for share
ocbill from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice on June 24, 2009:
Good info. I heard to ger a proper dosage frm wine you'd need to drink 100 bottles a day. so the pill works out better.
Iðunn on June 23, 2009:
lol I think perhaps the pill is in order. 20 bottles a day! :O
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on June 23, 2009:
Yes, it depends on the pill. Some are made in a way that doesn't allow them to dissolve and get absorbed by the time you poop them out.
Red wine from relatively humid climates have high levels of resveratrol, but you'd have to drink a lot of it (according to Dr Oz, 20 bottles per day) to get the same amount as in a pill (that's designed to dissolve the right way, naturally). But I suppose a little is better than none, so a glass or two of good Burgundy probably ain't too bad for ya. :-)
Iðunn on June 23, 2009:
This is interesting. What you hear though is that taking anything in pill form doesn't allow you to absorb as much as in whatever food or drink you would naturally get it from. So if you drink red wine semi-regularly would you get this reservatol then? They do say the French live healthier and sometimes credit some of their better health to red wine.
vic on June 22, 2009:
Thank you for an informative hub.