The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 11 No. 7 • December 2008

Resveratrol, at Concentrations Attainable by
Moderate Wine Consumption, Increases NO Production

Though much has been published on the beneficial effects of resveratrol, relatively less has focused on the effects of the small concentrations you can actually get with moderate wine consumption. A new study1 reports on just that.

Twenty healthy subjects were randomized to consume either 300 mL/day of red or white wine during dinner. The red wine, consumed by 4 male and 6 female subjects, mean age 45 ± 6 years), had a total polyphenolic concentration of 1.8 g/L. White wine was consumed by 5 male and 5 female subjects (mean age 42 ± 5 years) and had a total polyphenolic concentration of 0.25 g/L. (There were no subjects who didn’t ingest wine.)

Experimental (ex vivo and in vitro) results were derived from studies on platelets obtained from the subjects’ plasma.

Plasma resveratrol concentration increased from 0.72 ± 0.3 to 1.33 ± 0.3 μmol/L for white wine and from 0.71 ± 0.2 to 1.72 ± 0.1 μmol/L for red wine. Nitrite plus nitrate concentrations in the supernatant of arachidonic acid-stimulated platelet-rich plasma increased significantly after 15 days of controlled red [from 13.9 ± 3.4 μmol/L to 24.1 ± 3.6 μmol/L (P=0.037)] or white [from 10.6 ± 2.4 μmol/L to 19.8 ± 4.8 μmol/L(P=0.01)], indicating increased platelet NO production.

In vitro studies with platelets showed, among other findings, that preincubation with resveratrol (0.1–0.5 μmol/L decreased arachidonic acid-mediated superoxide radical formation, with a significant reduction reported at concentrations of at least 0.1 μmol/L, e.g., achievable with moderate wine consumption. In addition, activated p38 MAPK, a strong producer of ROS (reactive oxygen species) and inducer of platelet activation, was also decreased in resveratrol-preincubated platelets.

The authors conclude that “[t]his activity may contribute to the beneficial effects of moderate wine intake on ischemic cardiovascular disease.”

Do the results of this study mean that, if one is already consuming moderate amounts of wine that a resveratrol supplement in addition would be of no further value? Not necessarily. It is not clear yet what the optimum amount of resveratrol is and how that would vary under different conditions of health. The two of us do take extra resveratrol as contained in our MealMate™ weight control supplement.


  1. Gresele et al. Resveratrol, at concentrations attainable with moderate wine consumption, stimulates human platelet nitric oxide production. J Nutr 138:1602-8 (2008).

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