The best resveratrol products typically have a high concentration of trans-resveratrol — a chemical found in grapes, peanuts, and Japanese knotweed. Resveratrol has been shown to increase the lifespan of yeast and improve the health of laboratory animals. Beneficial properties of resveratrol was discovered during research conducted on the French Paradox, which is the unusually low incidence of heart disease in the French population despite their rich, fat-filled diets. The focus of the research turned to the consumption of red wine as a contributing factor for their long healthy lives. It turns out that the grapes from which red wine is derived contained resveratrol.
Although the anti-aging benefits of resveratrol has not been conclusively proven in people, several resveratrol supplements on the market claim to protect blood vessels, prevent blood clots, and reduce the accumulation of "bad" cholesterol. Choosing the best resveratrol product can be a daunting challenge. Generally, the first step in selecting the best resveratrol product is to identify products that contain trans-resveratrol and those that contain cis-resveratrol. Trans-resveratrol is the form of resveratrol generally believed to have antioxidant properties and potential nutritional benefits, while cis-resveratrol is a less effective form of the chemical.
Next, you typically should determine the purity of the trans-resveratrol. Generally, 99-percent trans-resveratrol is accepted as the best resveratrol product available on the market. Products that contain a lower percentage of trans-resveratrol generally have other ingredients added — usually to preserve the supplement or enhance its flavor.
Sometimes, the ingredients aren't even listed but are masked using a generalized term such as "proprietary blend." Emodin is an ingredient that should be avoided since it acts as a laxative, thus causing stomach cramps and discomfort. It is usually found in resveratrol products that are manufactured from Japanese knotweed.
The source of the trans-resveratrol is clearly a factor in the overall quality of resveratrol products. Typically, the best resveratrol products are derived from muscadine grapes, which are native to the southeastern United States. The seed and skin of the muscadine grape contains the largest concentration of resveratrol, while the pulp contributes a small percentage of the total concentration. Antioxidant properties of muscadine grapes are several times more potent than the antioxidant properties of other grapes, blueberries, and blackberries. Also, the muscadine grape contains ellagic acid — a polyphenol antioxidant that is not present in any other grape.