Resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant found in the skins of red fruits such as grapes, has been attributed to the good heart health of populations in Mediterranean countries. However Harvard researcher claims that supplements of the ingredient are not as beneficial as the substance obtained through consumption of wine or fruits.
"Our laboratory found red wine extracts, or resveratrol pills, were biologically inactive since they don't duplicate the airless environment like a bottle of wine," said David Sinclair, assistant professor at the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.
The new supplement, called Longevinex, provides 15 milligrams of resveratrol in an airtight capsule, and is the first to provide stabilized resveratrol, says Sinclair.
Last August, the researcher reported that resveratrol is capable of imitating calorie restriction, which increases the cell's defenses against damage and gives cells more time to repair their DNA.
The manufacturer of Longevinex claims the product provides about the same amount of resveratrol found in three to five glasses of good red wine. The supplement uses Capsugel's patented airtight capsule Licap to preserve resveratrol the way it is found in a corked bottle of wine.
Tests are underway to confirm that this dietary supplement actually mimics the healthy benefits of red wine.
Resveratrol is also currently in clinical trials for its ability to treat oral herpes and cancer.