That stuff in red wine that you’ve been hearing about

Resveratrol (see also is a natural plant ingredient belonging to the family of polyphenols and is associated with a range of beneficial effects. In the public mind it is perhaps most associated with red wine. However, the amounts in red wine (approx. 1mg/glass, though it varies a lot) are too low to be beneficial (most studies suggest you need 50-150mg/day of resveratrol to see such effects).

Many of the beneficial effects of resveratrol (such as the way it mimics the effects of a calorie-restricted diet) are thought to be mediated via its induction of “survival” genes. Resveratol also directly inhibits certain pro-inflammatory pathways and is an antioxidant.

8,000 studies and counting

Resveratrol has been widely studied, with some 8,000 papers published to date. Whilst it is perhaps most famous for driving significant extensions in life-span in animals, such effects have never been shown in humans. However, many studies in humans have shown positive effects on a wide variety of age-related health indications. A thorough review of the resveratrol literature by Novelle et al. was recently (January 2015) published in Ageing Research Reviews.

Most resveratrol on the market today comes from the roots of the Japanese knotweed plant (Polygonum cuspidatum), an invasive weed, possession of which is illegal in many countries. A small amount is made by synthetic chemistry, and an even smaller amount is extracted from grapes.

Evolva’s resveratrol is produced by yeast fermentation. It is an isomerically pure product that is free of pesticides and other impurities that are frequently found in knotweed extracts. It is made from natural and sustainable feedstocks and has a stable, traceable and reliable supply chain.

Evolva’s resveratrol has Self-Affirmed GRAS status in the United States and Novel Foods Authorisation for use in Dietary Supplements in the EU.

In 2014, Evolva successfully scaled up manufacture, making commercial product via a contract manufacturer in North America. Evolva launched resveratrol at the Supply Side West Expo in Las Vegas in October, making it Evolva’s first commercial product. Several distributor agreements were signed, with a focus on dietary supplements. Sales and interest met expectations. A dedicated website was established at During 2014, Evolva supplied material to a number of clinical and academic researchers who are studying the benefits and properties of resveratrol, and in December, Evolva sponsored the 2014 International Resveratrol Conference, bringing together leading researchers in the field.

Also in 2014, the first human study using Evolva’s resveratrol found that it improved bone health indicators such as bone density, bone formation and resorption in middle-aged men. (Resveratrol Increases Bone Mineral Density and Bone Alkaline Phosphatase in Obese Men: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.)

As with all Evolva’s products, it is hard to estimate the market potential of Evolva’s resveratrol. A 2012 report by Frost & Sullivan estimated total resveratrol sales at some USD 50 million, with the vast majority being used in nutritional supplements and with North America representing around 90% of sales. Evolva believes there is potential to grow the use of resveratrol in nutritional supplements, but also that resveratrol has the potential to be used in other areas, such as animal health, cosmetics and medical nutrition.

  • Study: Compound Found in Grapes, Red Wine May Help Prevent Memory Loss

    University study shows positive impact from resveratrol on age-related memory loss

    Nutrition Insight
  • Can the anti-aging secret be found in…red wine?

    National Public Radio interviewed one of the pioneers in resveratrol research, Harvard geneticist David Sinclair.

    Science Friday Interview
  • Resveratrol primer

    Here is a clean, concise overview of resveratrol, which also puts the red wine angle in perspective.

    Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
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