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

Resveratrol (see also res.evolva.com) is a natural plant ingredient that is associated with a range of beneficial effects. In the public mind it is perhaps most linked to 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).

Many of resveratrol’s beneficial effects (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 inflammatory pathways and is an antioxidant.

Most resveratrol today comes from the Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant that is capable of growing through concrete, and possession of which is illegal in many countries.   In China however the weed is grown as a laxative, and small amounts of resveratrol are extracted from its roots.   Resveratrol can also be made by chemical synthesis and a very small amount is extracted from red grapes.

Evolva’s resveratrol is produced by fermentation using yeast. 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.

8,000 studies and counting

Resveratrol is 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 age-related health indications. Two recent examples are:

  • In 2014, a randomized placebo controlled study showed that our resveratrol  improved bone health indicators such as bone density, bone formation and resorption in middle-aged men.
  • In November 2015, a 12-month double blind placebo controlled clinical study in 119 people with Alzheimer’s indicated that the compound, when taken at high doses (from 500mg – 2 grams per day) may slow the progression of the disease.

A thorough review of the literature on resveratrol’s effects was published by Novelle et al. in January 2015.

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

Market Potential

A 2012 report by Frost & Sullivan estimated resveratrol sales at some USD 50 million, with over 80% being used in the US dietary supplement market. Smaller amounts are used in other countries and in cosmetics.

We believe that the advent of a high quality, affordable resveratrol has the potential to significantly expand the use of resveratrol worldwide, especially by allowing use outside the dietary supplement market, for example in areas such as animal health, oral care and medical nutrition.What this translates to in actual market potential is, as always with innovative new products, hard to estimate.

Progress in Recent Years

We launched resveratrol in late 2014, though production volumes were very limited for operational reasons until early 2016.  Although sales were limited, the market feedback was very positive, and we see a strong mid- to long-term potential for our resveratrol – in fact, if anything our expectations have increased over time.

In addition to resveratrol’s use in dietary supplements, we are exploring other areas with potential key accounts, including bone health, blood glucose control, cognition, cardiovascular health, women’s health, oral care and animal nutrition.

As of mid-2016 the above production constraints have been resolved, partly due to process improvements, and partly due to the introduction of yeast strains with roughly twice the production efficiency as at launch.

 

  • Resveratrol’s effect on glucose control & insulin sensitivity. A meta-analysis.

    A meta analysis found that resveratrol can have a positive impact on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

    Amer. J Clin. 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
  • Information on Resveratrol from Oregon State University

    The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center has created a wonderful information source on resveratrol that's clear, concise, but not dumbed-down, either.

    Linus Pauling Inst.
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