Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can be used to improve your heart health, protect your body against cancer, fight inflammation, and prevent cognitive decline.
It’s most well-known for being found in red wine and other red grape products, but it’s produced in small quantities by many different types of plants to fight off bacterial and fungal infections.
A concentrated form of this compound, taken in a supplement, is an easy way to take advantage of the antioxidant properties of resveratrol. Our researchers have ranked the ten most effective resveratrol supplements on the market.
1. We Like Vitamins Resveratrol
We Like Vitamins Resveratrol is ultra-simple and ultra-potent. At 500 mg of pure resveratrol, derived from Japanese knotweed, every gelatin-based capsule packs a punch.
Many other resveratrol supplements offer half this amount or less. In addition, the only other ingredient is rice flour to fill out the capsule.
The high dose and simple supplement design make for a great resveratrol source, and make it our top choice.
2. aSquared Nutrition Resveratrol Maximum Strength
aSquared Nutrition takes a super-pure approach to their resveratrol supplement. With 500 mg of pure resveratrol from the Japanese knotweed plant as its source of active compounds, the only other ingredients included are gelatin for the capsule and rice flour.
It’s an excellent pick if you want resveratrol exclusively, without any additives or additional antioxidants.
3. PURELY Beneficial Resveratrol 1450
PURELY Beneficial has a resveratrol supplement that uses Japanese knotweed as its primary resveratrol source.
However, in addition to the resveratrol, there is a polyphenol complex from green tea extract, grape seeds, acai, and other strong antioxidant compounds.
On top of that, there’s 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This makes it a strong all-around antioxidant, with plenty of resveratrol.
You can consider it a “maximalist” approach, since it’s got so many supporting antioxidants in addition to its main ingredient, resveratrol.
4. NOW Natural Resveratrol
NOW Natural Resveratrol uses Japanese knotweed as its primary source of resveratrol, but it also includes red wine extract (which is alcohol-free) so that resveratrol is present alongside the supporting polyphenol compounds that occur alongside it in red wine.
Each capsule has 200 mg of pure resveratrol, making this a very good source for a standardized dosage if you are trying to follow the protocols of clinical studies.
5. Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol
Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol delivers a strong 350 mg dose of resveratrol, derived both from Japanese knotweed and from red wine grapes.
As is always the case with Garden of Life supplements, the active ingredient is accompanied by a suite of organic antioxidants, including apple beet, broccoli, bell pepper, and brussels sprouts, to include just a few.
If you want your resveratrol alongside as many other antioxidants as possible this supplement is the way to go.
6. Reserveage Nutrition Resveratrol
Reserveage Nutrition Resveratrol is crafted to deliver a very high dose of resveratrol (500 mg), and while the resveratrol itself is derived from Japanese knotweed, Reserveage Nutrition goes out of its way to ensure that extracts from red wine grapes are also present.
You can get the benefits from the other biologically active phytonutrients that accompany resveratrol in red wine.
7. Life Extension Optimized Resveratrol
Life Extension Optimized Resveratrol is another blended resveratrol supplement that also includes the antioxidants quercetin, red grape extract, and other sources of natural antioxidants.
The resveratrol dosage is quite solid, at 250 mg of pure resveratrol per capsule, so if you want a higher dose of resveratrol, but still want other antioxidants alongside, it’s a good pick.
8. Purest Vantage Trans-Resveratrol
Purest Vantage Trans-Resveratrol is another supplement that provides resveratrol alongside other popular antioxidants like green tea extract grape seed extract, acai fruit, and quercetin. The resveratrol content is pretty solid, at 300 mg per capsule, though the actual number of pills per bottle (only 60) will be a problem if you are planning on taking this supplement for an extended period of time.
9. Jarrow Formulas Resveratrol
Jarrow Formulas Resveratrol is pretty simple; it provides a lower dose of 100 mg of pure resveratrol per capsule, matched 1:1 with 100 mg of vitamin C for greater antioxidant abilities. It's not the most pure, nor is it the most comprehensive when it comes to additional antioxidants, but it will have a niche use for people who want a smaller dosage (or a normal dosage spread throughout the day via several capsules).
10. BRI Nutrition Resveratrol Extra Strength
BRI Nutrition Resveratrol Extra Strength uses a blend of different antioxidants, including resveratrol but also pomegranate, green tea, quercetin, and other popular antioxidants.
Unfortunately, these are all components in a proprietary blend, so it’s not possible to tell how much resveratrol itself is present in the supplement.
Resveratrol benefits and side effects
Resveratrol is a strong naturally occurring antioxidant that’s been connected to improvements in heart health, oxidative damage, and inflammation levels.
Resveratrol first rose to prominence because it occurs in red wine, which was connected with positive health outcomes in a number of large epidemiological studies.
However, resveratrol is produced by many plants, from peanuts to Japanese knotweed, to fight off bacteria and fungi, and can be delivered in supplement form in high doses for optimal health benefits.
Resveratrol can decrease risk factors for heart disease. One of the largest areas of benefit of resveratrol is in improving heart health.
Resveratrol has been connected with a number of improvements in biomarkers that are directly linked to your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
According to one review published in the journal Cardiovascular Drug Reviews by three researchers in Italy, these benefits include a reduction in platelet aggregation, lower rates of LDL cholesterol oxidation, and improvements in the function of the cells that make up your blood vessels and arteries (1).
While the early studies on resveratrol and heart disease were based on studies on tissue cultures or animal models, there is now direct clinical evidence from research in humans that resveratrol improves biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease.
A study published in 2012 in the journal Clinical hemorheology and Microcirculation by researchers in Hungary described a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of resveratrol among a group of people with diagnosed cardiovascular disease (2).
The trial involved 40 patients who had survived a heart attack. Half the patients received a resveratrol supplement daily, while the other half received a placebo.
After three months, the researchers found that the patients taking resveratrol had better ventricle function and lower LDL cholesterol compared to the placebo group.
Resveratrol has been studied as a preventative agent against cancer. Due to the powerful antioxidant effects of resveratrol, it’s attracted much attention for the possibility of using it to prevent cancer.
There’s a strong correlation between increased fruit and vegetable intake and decreased rates of cancer, and antioxidants like resveratrol that are found in these foods are a leading hypothesis for why (3).
Resveratrol in particular has attracted attention thanks to a raft of studies in the last few decades drawing attention to its ability to target specific cellular signalling pathways needed for cancer to initiate.
One landmark paper published in the prestigious journal Science detailed the ability of resveratrol to block the development of precancerous growths in mice (4).
This inspired a slew of follow-up research, which has turned into clinical trials in humans that are ongoing.
A review published in 2015 by researchers at the University of Wisconsin details some of the challenges that researchers continue to grapple with as they strive to move towards using resveratrol in clinical practice (5). Solid data is still forthcoming, but resveratrol shows a lot of promise when it comes to preventing cancer, and it could end up being a mainstay in cancer prevention in the future if ongoing research turns out well.
Resveratrol may help preserve cognitive function as you get older. While heart disease and cancer are the two most lethal forms of disease, Alzheimer’s disease—a form of progressive cognitive decline—comes in at number six (6).
Emerging evidence suggests that resveratrol could protect your brain as well as your body from the ravages of aging. One study in mice, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, used a mouse model to show that resveratrol can preserve cognitive function in aging (7).
The researchers showed that aging mice given resveratrol performed better in a maze puzzle than control mice, and moreover, the resveratrol was associated with a decrease in abnormal changes in the brain.
Research in humans published in 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that even a single dose of resveratrol can increase blood flow during a cognitive task (8). Additionally, this effect was dose-dependent: higher doses created greater amounts of blood flow.
Resveratrol can reduce systemic inflammation. In addition to the antioxidant benefits of resveratrol, many scientists think that the health benefits of this supplement may be attributable, in part, to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Other popular antioxidants, like green tea extract, show similar anti-inflammatory properties as well. Research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology demonstrated that resveratrol reduces systemic inflammation in rats with colitis (9).
There is even some research in rabbits suggesting that resveratrol could reduce inflammation-related damage in osteoarthritis (10).
Resveratrol, being a naturally-occurring compound, appears to be tolerated quite well.
Animal studies attempting to establish levels of toxicity have use extremely high levels of resveratrol for weeks at a time (equivalent to a full-sized human consuming an entire bottle of resveratrol pills every day) with no apparent ill effects (11).
Studies in humans have used dose of up to 5000 mg at a single time with no apparent ill effects, though prolonged doses of 1000 mg or more for over a months have been associated with mild gastrointestinal effects like bloating and diarrhea.
Because resveratrol inhibits platelet aggregation (which is part of its benefit for heart disease), it could interact with prescription blood thinners like warfarin, so people on these kinds of prescription medications should talk to their doctor first before they use resveratrol.
Clinical research into resveratrol has been all over the board with regards to dosage. Studies have explored daily doses ranging from 10 mg to 5000 mg, but there are no clear guidelines for optimal dosage yet (12).
There may not be one optimal dose―the right amount for heart health might be different than the right amount for the cognitive protection benefits.
The Linus Pauling Institute notes that doses as low as 10 mg have been beneficial, but most studies that have found benefits have used doses of 100 to 500 mg per day (13). It may be advantageous to spread this out over multiple doses throughout the day.
Resveratrol is one of the most promising supplements for longevity and health. It may offer protective effects against some of the most common and most deadly chronic diseases: cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
The evidence for resveratrol is still emerging, so we don’t yet know what the optimal dosage is, but beneficial effects have been found at the 100 to 500 mg per day dosage level.
As far as side effects, resveratrol appears to be very well-tolerated. Mild gastrointestinal symptoms are the only reported side effects, and it is not toxic even at very high doses.
The only exception is for people who take blood thinners like warfarin—they should talk to their doctor before taking resveratrol.
Among antioxidant supplements for improving your long-term health, resveratrol is one of the most promising options.
Its safety, efficacy, and the incredible amount of research into its possible benefit make a strong case for taking this supplement for long-term well-being.