US team beats Italians to red wine pill

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red wine, Wine

A US company says it has launched the first dietary supplement that
preserves the natural antioxidant molecules found in red wine,
making it a suitable alternative for teetotallers.

The firm also claims the new supplement beats efforts by Italian scientists to develop a freeze-dried 'wine pill', reported earlier this month.

While numerous studies suggest the health benefits of red wine, such benefits are not seen upon consumption of concentrated red wine extracts in pills, says California-based Resveratrol Partners, maker of the new supplement.

This is because they fail to preserve the important antioxidant molecules, such as resveratrol, which are kept from spoilage in a bottle of wine. The company cites tests conducted at a New England university showing that dietary supplements produced by conventional methods exhibit little if any biological activity.

The new product, marketed under the trade name Longevinex, seals its ingredients in an airtight capsule, using patented manufacturing methods under exclusive licence from Capsugel that encapsulate liquids in sealed capsules.

The capsule is produced in an oxygen-free environment to prevent spoilage, while Capsugel's liquid Licaps capsules are produced in a nitrogen environment to preserve red wine molecules, such as resveratrol, that may become oxidised over time due to exposure to oxygen.

Longevinex​ also contains a natural internal preservative from rice bran, said to further maintain its stability and shelf life.

The company says its product will meet demand from consumers put off the benefits of wine due to its alcohol content, calories and headaches caused by sulfite-preservatives. The product is also more likely to be promoted by public health authorities, reluctant to recommend an alcoholic beverage for widespread public consumption.

The pill provides 15 milligrammes of trans-resveratrol from French red wine and other botanical sources, equivalent to consumption of 3 to 15 glasses of red wine.

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