Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, June 2018

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■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 34 JUNE 2018 A s if wine lovers needed another rea- son to uncork, the French paradox supplied ample inspiration for toasts when scientists f rst elucidated it in the late 1980s. But the seemingly contradictory ob- servation that heart disease rates remain low in France despite the relatively high-fat diet—and the theory that the resveratrol in red wine might be responsible—was so com- pelling that even teetotalers began eyeing Cabs and Pinots in a longing new light. But that was several decades ago, and these days a mention of resveratrol is as likely to raise consumers' eyebrows as it is their wineglasses. Among the scientif c community, however, resveratrol retains its mojo, as active inquiry into the benef ts of the compound—a phenolic antioxidant produced naturally in more than 70 species of plants, including pine trees, peanuts, co- coa, blueberries, raspberries, and, yes, wine grapes—continues. Notes Gene Adamski, national sales man- ager, Evolva (Reinach, Switzerland), "Any widely used ingredient like resveratrol tends to have its ups and downs in the nutritional marketplace over time." T at said, "I do feel resveratrol is mounting a comeback based on its proven benef ts in the antiaging, wom- en's health, cardiovascular, skin, bone, and especially cognitive health categories," he says. "Resveratrol science continues to grow with positive results. And our industry is starting to recognize the benef ts again." Dimming Limelight It was the purported link with heart health, as evidence by the French paradox, that f rst put resveratrol on the public's radar. But, says Dan Lifton, president, proprietary branded ingredients group, Maypro (Purchase, NY), the French paradox may, in fact, have done resveratrol supplementation little favor. "T e only thing we'd been hearing for years now is how we get resveratrol from wine, so if we drink red wine, we're set," Lifton ob- serves. As a consequence, he says, "T e value proposition for resveratrol supplementation got lost in the smoke of the 'just drink wine to get your resveratrol' message, which was incorrect." After all, you'd have to toss back 41 glasses of red wine to get the 20 mg of res- veratrol found in a typical resveratrol dietary supplement, Lifton notes. On the other, says Shaheen Majeed, president worldwide, Sabinsa Corp. (East Windsor, NJ), the science itself is partially re- sponsible for resveratrol's dimmed limelight. "Most of the previous f ndings were based on cell cultures or laboratory animal exper- iments," he says, "with very few human stud- ies demonstrating long-term benef ts." But with the latest research "trying to f ll these gaps with well-planned human studies," he says, "resveratrol is ready to bounce back." Active Areas of Inquiry And, oh, what studies there are. Hugh Welsh, president, general counsel and secretary, DSM North America (Parsippany, NJ), did a quick PubMed search on December 13, 2017, and netted over 10,000 studies, "with more than 120 clinical trials and the total number of publications increasing year over year," he says. AIMEE M LEE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM Antioxidants WITH AGE GETTING BETTER Taking a fresh look at resveratrol BY KIMBERLY J. DECKER

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