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Resveratrol is a phenolic compound produced naturally by plants to defend against invading pathogens such as bacteria and fungi. Sources are available in pill or capsule form. The molecule is found naturally in berry products and in red grapes. Further, resveratrol may be the molecule that infers the reported health benefits of red wine effects (the French paradox), where mild but daily drinkers of wine have lower rates of heart disease. The dose varies based on indication: healthy people may only need 5 mg per day while recent studies in diabetic patients have had doses 20-100 fold that number.
The mechanism of action is likely to be multifarious; supplementation of large doses of resveratrol may mimic caloric restriction, the latter of which has been found to have potentially beneficial anti-aging properties in mice. This is due to resveratrol's possible activation of sirtuin receptors, a relatively novel property in a supplement. Sirtuin activation yields to a large increase in lifespan in susceptible mammals under tightly controlled conditions.
Diabetes and high blood sugar has detrimental effects to both quality of life and general lifespan. Resveratrol ostensibly increases cell permeability to insulin, thus lowering overall blood sugar. Research in this avenue is preliminary, however.