Guest Post by John Fawkes
This next guest post includes an awesome assemblage of research on a confusing health topic--the sort of post Crabby has given up even trying to write since she got so
Is Resveratrol just an excuse to get drunk, or will it turn you into the highlander?
Resveratrol. By now, you’ve probably read about five different articles about how it might just allow us to turn back the clock on aging, so we can live long enough to see the first Mars colony. You’ve probably read about how it can cure cancer, burn fat, build muscle, and make you smarter. Or maybe you’ve just heard about it from some wine snob you know, bragging about how damn healthy he is while getting drunk on a bottle of 2002 Douchenozzle Reserve.
Resveratrol is a chemical produced by a variety of plants as an immune response against fungi, but the highest concentrations are found in the skins of wine grapes, and by extension, in red wine. It naturally occurs in two forms, cis-resveratrol and trans-resveratrol, with trans-resveratrol being the bioactive form that produces all of the alleged health benefits. A glass of red wine might contain anywhere from .15 to 1.5 mg of trans-resveratrol per glass.
For a while in the 2000’s, it really looked like resveratrol was some kind of miracle drug. Every year, a few more studies would come out demonstrating benefits to longevity, cardiovascular fitness, and brain health. But then two funny things happened.