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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Resveratrol Benefits Discovered...At Last!

In November of 2006, the announcement was made that resveratrol kept mice from gaining weight, increased their energy and muscle strength and kept them from aging prematurely. Wow. That sounds perfect for every thirty-something and over who have been searching for the fountain of youth. This newsworthy topic certainly creates advantages and disadvantages for any supplement company who carries a resveratrol supplement.

According to Christoph Westphal, a venture capitalist turned biotech, and David Sinclair, a Harvard medical school researcher, resveratrol "may retard the onset or progression of a whole slew of age-related diseases, from diabetes to Alzheimer's to cancer. The drugs may also have an extremely provocative side effect: They might extend life span." The difference between the two men and one CEO of a tiny supplement company? It's not just the $82 million that backs Westphal's company Sirtris, but the idea that resveratrol as an anti-aging drug will most likely be accepted by the FDA, probably before the clinical human trials are completed, and promoted heavily by a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical company. On the flipside, supplement companies scratch and claw, and cautiously advertise their products, to avoid being stricken by lightning from the black cloud that constantly lingers over their heads - the FDA and government legislation.

Here's something else to think about. Will the resveratrol being produced be strictly resveratrol, or will it contain impurities, such as chemicals or additives, that will create side effects like many of the well-known prescription drugs on the market? Research, so far, hasn't made it apparent whether the 'wonder resveratrol drug' will be purely natural, synthetically made, or a combination of the two. Time will tell.

To the supplement world, it is frustrating to know that a nutrient such as resveratrol can be around for decades, and suddenly become the 'in' product because a business giant's money and influence says it may stop age-related disease. On the other hand, we can ride on their shirttails of multi-media advertising and actually get a quality product to be seen. In the end, as hard as it may be, supplement companies may be thanking the two doctors who 'discovered' resveratrol and it's overwhelming benefits, and the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the product. Wouldn't that be ironic?