Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols. They’re thought to act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage that can put you at higher risk for things like cancer and heart disease.
It’s in the skin of red grapes, but you can also find it in peanuts and berries.
There’s some evidence that resveratrol may not prolong life, according to research on people living in Tuscany who consume a diet rich in resveratrol from food sources like red wine. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014, 783 men and women 65 years or older were followed from 1998 to 2009.
During that time, intake of red wine (as measured by urine levels of resveratrol metabolites), didn’t change the likelihood of dying from any cause, the incidence of heart disease or cancer, or markers of inflammation.
For a review published in Clinical Nutrition in 2015, researchers analyzed six previously published studies on the effects of resveratrol on blood pressure, and concluded that resveratrol didn’t significantly reduce blood pressure. Higher doses of resveratrol (over 150 mg per day), however, were found to significantly decrease systolic blood pressure (the top number on a blood pressure reading).
Another review, published in the International Journal of Cardiology in 2015, examined the effectiveness of resveratrol on cardiovascular risk factors. After analyzing 10 previously published studies, researchers concluded that the analysis did not suggest any benefit of resveratrol supplementation on heart disease risk factors, including levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein (a blood protein that is raised when there is inflammation, including in heart disease).