How to Take Resveratrol Supplements

Resveratrol offers many health benefits. Learn how to take a resveratrol supplement, its potential side effects, and possible interactions with prescription medications.

How Much Resveratrol Should You Take?

Typical recommendations for resveratrol supplementation range between 200 and 500 mgs of resveratrol per day. Most supplements fall somewhere in this interval; it is considered that this dose is high enough to get the health benefits of resveratrol, while at the same time being safe for long term use.

Studies made to date haven't found any adverse effects of resveratrol in doses up to 5 grams per day.  Taking ultra high doses of resveratrol is not recommended as it may lead to toxic side effects.

Side Effects of Resveratrol Supplementation

The main side effects that people experience are stomach discomfort and mild diarrhea. The reason for these side effects is a substance called emodin, which is part of the Japanese knotweed roots (most resveratrol supplements are made from Japanese knotweed - Polygonum cuspidatum extract). Consuming emodin in larger quantities may lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Is Resveratrol Safe For Everyone?

Resveratrol haven't been studied in pregnant and breastfeeding women and children, so they are advised not to take this supplement.

People who are on blood thinning medications, cholesterol or diabetes medications should consult their doctor before taking resveratrol. The reason for this is that resveratrol works in many ways similarly as these medications, so the combined effect might be too much.

When and How to Take Resveratrol

Even though resveratrol is generally considered a safe supplement, some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort. To minimize the risk of abdominal side effects, it is often recommended to take resveratrol after meals.

Interactions of Resveratrol and Prescription Medications

Resveratrol interacts with the following group of medications:

Blood thinners (anticoagulants) and NSAIDs

Resveratrol inhibits blood clotting. If you are also taking anticoagulants and NSAIDs (such as warfarin, ibuprofen and aspirin) this may lead to increased risk of bleeding.

Diabetes medications and medications for increasing insulin sensitivity

Resveratrol affects glucose regulation. It improves insulin resistance and helps with diabetes type 2. However, when taken together with diabetes medications, the combined effect on blood sugar might be too strong. It is recommended that you monitor your blood glucose levels when taking resveratrol and diabetes medications.

Cholesterol medications (medications for lowering blood lipids)

Resveratrol decreases blood levels of LDL – the so called bad cholesterol. Consult with your health care professional if you are considering taking resveratrol along with anti-cholesterol medications.

You might also be interested in:

  1. Trans-Resveratrol in nutraceuticals: issues in retail quality and effectiveness. Rossi D, Guerrini A, Bruni R, Brognara E, Borgatti M, Gambari R, Maietti S, Sacchetti G. Molecules. 2012. Oct.
  2. Dose-Dependency of Resveratrol in Providing Health Benefits. Subhendu Mukherjee, Jocelyn I. Dudley, and Dipak K. Das. Dose response - an international journal. 2010.

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