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Barbara Walters Resveratrol - Report

Updated on March 17, 2011

Barbara Walters talks about resveratrol

Resveratrol & Barbara Walters

You might have seen Barbara Walters in advertisements for resveratrol products, touting this natural substance's health benefits, and particularly its claims to lengthen your lifespan. Now Barbara Walters is not a doctor or scientist; she is an investigative reporter. Furthermore, she does endorse any particular product. From the video segment you see to your right, she simply reports what scientists have found about this naturally-occurring chemical.

What do we know about resveratrol:

  • in animals, from single-celled yeast, up to fish and mice, resveratrol extended lifespans, up to 40%
  • in studies in fish, resveratrol-fed fish were still reproducing when their counterparts without resveratrol had already died
  • in studies in mice, resveratrol greatly increased athletic endurance, and it also prevented obese mice from afflictions like heart disease and diabetes, leading them to live as long as their lean counterparts

What about humans? We don't know. Resveratrol has only been studied for the past few decades, and humans, well, generally live quite a bit longer. However, resveratrol use has grown recently, and while he doesn't specifically endorse it, even Dr David Sinclair (interviewed by Barbara Walters in the video above), takes a resveratrol supplement daily.

60 minutes feature on resveratrol, with Morley Safer

Is resveratrol available?

Yes, it is. You can find it in a number of food and herbal products, in small quantities, since it's present in plants that under fungal attack (resveratrol is a natural antifungal):

  • grapes (1 cup red grapes = 1.25 mg resveratrol)
  • peanuts (1 cup peanuts = 0.25 mg resveratrol; 1 cup boiled peanuts = 1.30 mg resveratrol)
  • Japanese knotweed
  • cranberries (trace amounts)
  • mulberries (trace amounts)
  • bilberries (trace amounts)

Because it exists in far higher concentrations in Japanese knotweed (an herb), most commercial preparations of resveratrol come from this.

About supplements: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, the company profiled in Barbara Walter's story, was purchased by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008. (David Sinclair and Christoph Westfall are the representatives of this company that were interviewed for the story) The company was working on a form of a resveratrol-based product for prescription that would help diabetics and those suffering from heart disease. Naturally, we don't know what stage of development this product is in with GSK now.

A large host of companies market resveratrol products, but I must caution potential buyers to do their research.

What to look for in a resveratrol supplement

With the exception of RevGenetics, which I've found to be a reputable company, the other companies you are evaluating should be established, respected brands in the world of nutritional supplements. Sundown, Nature's Best, Now, and Jarrow are just 4 brands that have been around for decades, have a long safety record, and have a vested interest in maintaining their reputation by only selling quality product.

On the other hand, the growing press on resveratrol and its health benefits as they relate to longevity has created a cottage industry of scam artists and fly-by-night operations. If you visit a site and it looks and feels "spammy," then it probably is. Ads that show Barbara Walters or Dr Mehmet Oz endorsing a specific brand of resveratrol should also be avoided -- neither of them recommend a specific resveratrol product, even though Dr. Oz does recommend taking up to 500 mg a day of resveratrol.


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    • reinalisa1 profile image

      reinalisa1 7 years ago

      Thanks for doing this on Barbara, I LOVE HER! I usually do trust a lot she reports on, but, don't always agree on certain aspects of what the content is (but that's me) . . . and also, I read some of your other hubs. They are really good. I hope you don't mind if I just became a fan/follower. Can't wait for your new ones! Take Care. Reinalisa1

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 8 years ago from San Francisco

      Yes, you have to do your research. There are good resveratrol products out there, but none of them require a monthly subscription and they mostly come from reputable firms.

      The acai berry scam is really everywhere now. Do people really believe eating a Brazilian berry will make them look like the girl from Ipanema?

    • maritimer profile image

      maritimer 8 years ago from canada

      This product sounds like it has been taken over by scam artists. This happened to acai berry. Acai berry has benefits but has been tainted by "free trail" scams.

      Remember there are no miracles and you get what you pay for.

    • profile image

      Resveratrol 8 years ago

      The Walters resv review also concluded one startling fact that if you were born and raised in Okinawa you have an 87% less of a chance of developing cancer than if you grew up in the States.

    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 8 years ago from New York

      Pat, get their phone number from your bank. They are required to give it to them. Call them immediately and tell them to STOP your program effective immediately. Also, if need be, explain that you write blogs online to inform others of your experiences with products that you have tried. That should give them some incentive to be most cooperative with you. I will say that most companies are pretty good with complying with a customer's request to discontinue their program. However, read livelonger's other hubs on this product. It just may be a good thing.

    • profile image

      Pat 8 years ago

      I am dumb enough to have bought this product but have not taken it because I have read more about it and now am afraid to take it. The problem that I have now is that they keep taking money out of my bank account and I do not know what to do to stop it. Beware!!!!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 8 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks qweenbee & SweetiePie! Whenever something like resveratrol comes along with a lot of promise, the scammers come along too. It's always good to research any supplement you're going to take.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I am glad you wrote an informative hub warning people about this scam. This is the best way to share information, through education. I can tell you have a science background because honestly I am not well versed on these subjects.

    • profile image

      iamqweenbee 8 years ago

      Very enlightening

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 8 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks, Lyricallor!

    • Lyricallor profile image

      Lorna Lorraine 8 years ago from Croydon

      As always an interesting hub!