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Is Micronized Resveratrol Really Better?

Updated on August 29, 2010

By now you’ve read about the amazing healing powers of red wine. The American Heart Association has been advocating a glass after dinner for years. Although heart healthy, people counting on wine to give them a blast of resveratrol may be disappointed.

When news about resveratrol swept the nation, reporter Barbara Walters was shocked when biologist Dr. David Sinclair told her that she would have to drink 1,000 bottles a day to get the full benefits of resveratrol.

So the resveratrol supplements available at the local drug store must be the answer, right? You’re getting warmer.

What most people don’t realize is that there is a significant difference between SRT501, the drug created by Sinclair’s company Sirtris, and the supplements being sold on the market today. Taking a capsule made by one of the more reputable brand like Biotivia may be far more effective than drinking Pinot Noir, however it is still far less powerful than SRT501, which is now undergoing clinical trials.

Resveratrol was found to be an amazingly effective compound when used outside the body by Sinclair, however once ingested the story changed significantly. This is why Sirtris has put so much money and effort into research. If the drug wasn’t significantly better than plain old resveratrol, surely GlaxoSmithKline wouldn’t have bought them out for approximately $720 million. When SRT501 finally is released, the potential for sales is staggering.

When taken as a supplement, roughly 70% of resveratrol is absorbed into the body. The problem lies in the bioavailability, which is the amount of the compound that enters the bloodstream. Studies have found that when a 25mg dose was administered, only 5ng/ml was found in the blood.

Although great for your health, red wine won't slow the aging process.
Although great for your health, red wine won't slow the aging process.

There are speculations that SRT501 uses micronized resveratrol in its formula. Put simply, micronized particles are more effectively integrated into the bloodstream. When compared with 99% pure resveratrol, SRT501 shows a 202% increase in SIRT1 activation, which is the survival gene that keeps us vital longer and may extend lifespan. When mixed into a liquid, tonic or emulsifier it is estimated that the effectiveness jumps up to 300%.

One disadvantage of micronized formulations is it comes at a higher cost. RevGenetics offers a few supplements that use micronized particles in the formula. The best value is the M98 Bulk Micronized Resveratrol, which includes 25 grams. At its current regular price of $75.00, each gram costs $3. In comparison P98 Bulk 98% Resveratrol which is not micronized costs $1.16, so it is one third the price.

If you put potency per gram into the equation, the price difference between pharmaceutical -grade resveratrol and micronized resveratrol becomes zero.

So is micronized resveratrol worth the significantly higher price per gram? There isn’t a clear-cut answer to that question. Some will argue that it’s better to simply take more regular resveratrol as it will produce the same effect. Others will prefer ingesting less of a more effective compound. Without enough studies backing up which approach is really better, even scientists debate about the subject. For now it comes down to personal preference.

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