Monday, August 18, 2008

Mindblog does an experiment with resveratrol, the anti-aging compound.

I have done a number of posts on resveratrol (to have a look at them, enter 'resveratrol' in the search box in the left column). This compound appears to mimic the effects of caloric restriction in some animals, and in some cases extends lifespans. It has effects on enzyme profiles that resemble those caused by exercise. With some hesitation, I decided to do a self-experiment, taking the compound for several weeks to see if I noted any steady state changes in physiology, energy, temperament, etc. and then stopping the supplement to observe whether any changes I noted went away. (Goggling away on the web, you find a large number of sites, having almost the aura of cults, claiming wondrous properties of this new magic molecule.)

If you don't feel like reading through the whole account below, the bottom line is that after noting some positive, but transient, positive changes in energy and temperament, the appearance of arthritic symptoms led me to terminate the self-experiment. The arthritic symptoms then disappeared. (Added note, in response to immediate input from a reader of this post: Resveratrol is an anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) agent and in some instances this may trigger autoimmune symptoms.)

The hesitation to start this experiment derived from my experience when I tried this in 2004. Then, as now, I used resveratrol obtained from Now Foods, pills containing 400 mg of a root extract that claims to contain 200 mg resveratrol. After a few weeks I noted that my hands were becoming stiff, finger joints were starting to 'click' , i.e. arthritic symptoms. I freaked out, stopped the resveratrol, and started taking glucose amine, chondroitin sulfate, MSM, Calcium, Magnesium. The arthritis went away over the next week or two, but of course I didn't know whether to attribute that to stopping the resveratrol, starting the latter supplements, or placebo effect.

So, this time I started 200 mg with breakfast, tried to stay very flat and objective in my observations, especially attentive to any negative effects. (I tried in vain to find in the literature, on the web, any reported negative side effects reported by people taking resveratrol.) On day 11, I started another 200 mg with dinner.

On day 13, I decided to write down a number of effects, fairly subtle, but quite clear. (I had been looking mainly for negative symptoms, and so required the following observations to be clear and sustained, noticed as facts, not goals, with changes clearly different from the previous period in a sustained way. My food intake and level of formal exercise (gym) activity had not changed significantly.)

-more constant energy in just moving through a day, from one activity to another… (While running at gym, I didn't begin to slow down after the first mile).
-an absence of mildly negative, curmudgeonly, temperament, the temperament being now more flat to positive.
-more sexual energy (I check the web: resveratrol inhibitis the esterase that breaks down testosterone)
-a bit more spontaneous emotional reactivity, to memories, things in the environment,
-the daily weight range (lowest on waking in the a.m. then plus a few pounds by gym weighing) may have shifted down 1-2 pounds

By day 15 I'm deciding I don’t think the weight range has changed significantly. Further, over a period of just a few days, everything seems to return to where it was, as if physiological and temperamental homeostatic mechanisms had noted a 'perturbation' and so were returning the body to its normal set-points. On day 16 I sign off on thinking that the positive effects reported above are long term. I also realize that hand stiffness has been increasing over the past few days, finger joints have started clicking. (These observations seem to be contrary to several reports that resveratrol inhibits enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) involved in inflammatory arthritic responses.)

I continue to take the 400 mg of daily resveratrol for two more days, note increasing arthritic symptoms, and discontinue on day. 19. Over the next week, the stiffness and clicking joints disappear, and hand movements become supple again.

So, that is it. Deric's experiment was finished. Don't think I'm going to go there again.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep. I quit resveratrol after Achilles tendonitis set in and a raging case of plantar fasciitis returned after years of dormancy. I noted the hand-joint popping as well.

Jacqueline said...

Interesting. I was taking it and quit because I noticed numbness/tingling sensations in hands and feet. No arthritis, though.

Anonymous said...

I have had swelling in my middle finger that hasn't gone away in 5 months, and never had anything like it before trying resveratrol 300 mg. I hate to say it, but think resveratrol is less than benign.

Meenute2 said...

I was taking resveratrol from a well known company and found the same thing. I stopped taking it a month ago, but my feet are still killing me when I wake in the morning. I am 39 year old women in great condition and now I can not run etc. If anyone has a rememdy for this I would sure love to hear it!

Anonymous said...

I saw that original poster seemed to toake the 50% Resveratrol. And there seem to be a lot of people with arthritc symptoms.

Has anyone tried the 98 or 99% transres?
I am getting some in the next month or so and I will come back and posts if I get the arthritic symptoms.

Anonymous said...

It was likely an autoimmune response -- a developed allergy. This is not that uncommon with herbal supplements. In Chinese medicine, it is well-known and checked for by practitioners. Joint pain and muscle ache is one of the most common symptoms, just like when influenza starts and a person starts to get faint joint and muscle pain. It's the immune system activating.

Thomas Ott said...

Wow, I thought that my medical event last year was possible related to taking Reservatrol but I wasn't too sure.

I wrote about my experience on my blog here.

Thanks for all these comments and sharing. I guess it was the culprit!

Tom

MyBleedingHeart said...

Resveratrol may have eventually killed me! (Hopefully my declining blood counts will stop).

It has been 6 weeks since I started a daily regime of about 400-500 mg of Resveratrol.

I have an autoimmune disorder and I noticed an immediate reduction in joint swelling, so thought this was a great supplement.

BUT, I developed severe arthritic changes in one foot: a total obliteration of a major joint, that previously had been symptom-free.

I also developed a severe reduction in some of my blood counts: well below normal. My white count dropped 30% in 3 weeks, to less than half of what is considered to be "low" normal.

When telling a friend about this, she suggested that I take double the "normal" dose. (I was only taking half or one third of the "recommended daily dose", thankfully.) I thought that her suggestion might not be a good idea, since this was such a concentrated formulation to begin with. I suddenly realized that Resveratrol could be the cause of my significant decline in health.

I have ceased taking this supplement and pray that my body can turn off this horrible immune system attack on itself!

Anyone who has an autoimmune disease, Please Beware of Resveratrol!

Anonymous said...

I've been taking 300-600mg everyday for 3 months. I noticed a few positives, but I had 2 negatives that made me stop: Sleep and tendanitis, especially in the achillies tendon. As for sleep, it was not good. I'd wake up several times a night, maybe getting 6 hours total. I stumbled across this site a week ago and did some other research that found that my issues weren't that uncommon. I stopped 4 days ago and my sleep has been very good the past 2 nights and my tendonitis is much improved.

Geoff said...

I am a very active 36 year old male and I have been taking 100mg/day of resveratrol for about 4 months. I have recently developed pain in my hip joint and surrounding tendons that I believe is related to resveratrol. I have discontinued use and would discourage others from taking it.

Anonymous said...

took one week+ of a high quality organic version purchased from GMC 250mg. was planning to take it for at least a month to decide if i wanted to continue. (42 and healthy) noticed a sudden, strange and constant pain in my left hip into the second week. that was so weird and sudden for me that i decided the resveratrol was likely the culprit so i quit taking it about 3 days ago but still have the pain. possibly unrelated, but i doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I took 250mg of Botiva Trans-Resveratrol tablets for several months. I did not associate the subsequent burning pain around the hip area with the supplement. I then ran out of the resveratrol tablets and noticed that the hip pain ( for which I had received numerous acupuncture and chiropractic treatments) and a concommitant pain in the finger joints had subsided. I do not know if the two are related, however, I now recall that I had the same hip pain a year previous when I was taking the resveratrol supplements. That pain also eventually subsided when I ran out of supplement. In looking back I realize that it coincided with discontinuation of the resveratrol. I am now thinking that the pain in the hip may have been the result of supplementation with resveratrol. I think more studies are needed before I continue this product.

Anonymous said...

I'm VERY happy that I found this site, because I have been experiencing tendon stiffness and tenderness on the bottoms of my feet, and my heels have been rather tender. This seems to be at its worst when I get up in the morning. There may be a medical name for this, but I just don't know what it is. I've been taking resveratrol for about six months, but this will end TODAY thanks to everyone else's posts. THANK YOU ALL!!!! I will post an update after a few weeks of discontinuing resveratrol.

Anonymous said...

Two weeks off 100mg Resveratrol daily and my joints feel much better. Don't think I'll restart that again. I'm 35 and was beginning to walk and feel like an old arthritic man. Feet, hips, hands all began to hurt to the point life was becoming quite difficult. Don't believe the Resveratrol hype!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree and want to share it in a broader general interest that resveratrol is nothing but a brain-child of dirty, ethic-less business community to create hype, market it, sell it and earn billions of dollars by risking innocent people at stake. This is in line of what most of the corporate do in order to do their ethic-less and anti-human business.

Why do I say this:
I,myself, tried the resveratrol some 20 - 30 times by stopping and restarting it. Every time the result was 100% consistent i.e. serious stiffness and joint pain in neck and lower back starts with start of taking 250 mg high quality resveratrol and the stiffness and pain in joint stops after stopping the resveratrol. This is obvious that we cannot have a coincidence for around 30 times. Therefore, this supplement is hazardous aiming to cripple the healthy people with joint damage.

Be careful

Anonymous said...

In my extensive research, I have found that resveratrol is an aromatase inhibitor, which has been hypothesized to be the cause of joint and tendon pains many people experience. It also can be the cause for strength and muscle gains, experienced by many who can easily track these changes through weight lifting. Other people may not notice the increase in strength and muscle since this may be too subtle, but increased energy would be more obvious.

Increased sun exposure, or intake of vitamin D3 supplements can reduce or eliminate joint and muscle pain associated with aromatase inhibitors. There are many misconceptions about the sun, and most people are vitamin D3 deficient, especially those living at high latitudes. Sunscreen blocks your body's ability to get vitamin D from the sun. The most damaging UV rays are around the times of 10am-2pm. Times closer to sunrise and sunset ought to be taken advantage of for sun exposure, since we need healthy doses of vitamin D! The supplement CoQ10 may also help to alleviate joint and muscle pain.

Anonymous said...

I take about 1000 mg of resveratrol daily and have had no adverse effect. I have none of the symptoms the people above described. Resveratrol is naturally found in grapes blueberries peanuts and other foods known to be good for you. If resveratrol is so harmful why do so many fruits and vegetables known to be good for you contain it? I also believe resveratrol raises testosterone as I no longer have impotence. I wake up every morning with "morning wood" just like I did back in highschool.

Francis Tony said...

Aside from the antioxidant benefits of resveratrol, it also has anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that resveratrol induces the deaths of tumor and cancer cells, and inhibits tumor growth in the development of colon cancer by blocking the building enzyme Cox-2.

chiropractor melbourne

4rx said...

Resveratrol in red wine can prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots. If you drink moderate amounts of alcohol you may have a lower risk of heart disease.

Anonymous said...

Resveratrol has been used very successfully in he treatment of Lyme disease. It is anti-bacterial, is an immune modulator, and kills cancer cells. I, personally, have taken it with great success. It also is highly affective against strains of Bartonella, which is a coinfection of Lyme and is tick borne. The person who said they had pain on the bottom of their soles may have been killing Bartonella infection in fact. Sole pain is a classic symptom. I don't claim to know all the science behind the herb and whether it can trigger auto-immunity, but it has it benefits and saved my life. My understanding, from an herbalogist, who makes no money selling the herb, is that it is an immune modulator and an excellent antibacterial agent.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Fascinating post. Actually, My mom was using Resveratrol back then. But she decided to quit after few weeks 'cos she always felt numbness in both hands and feet. bladder cancer symptom

Anonymous said...

For everyone who got joint pain could this have been caused by resveratrol acting as an estrogen blocker. Low estrogen is linked to the joint pain you describe.

Anonymous said...

hmmm.. judging by the comments here, resveratrol will either kill you or save your life. Both positive and negative reviews seem to be grouped into clusters. a bit suspicious. I can only judge by my own experience - I supplemented w/resveratrol on two different occasions and both times, I had trouble sleeping, so much so that the first time I had to stop. Within a few days, my sleeping was back to normal. The 2nd time(currently) I am having the same problem with waking up several times during the night and I've only been on it for about a week now. I'm also experiencing some mood changes and some minor, random body aches. My current dosage is 75mg. i think I'm done with resveratrol - could be that the "recommended" dosage(100's of mgs) is just an unnaturally high amount to be taking. How much resveratrol is in an a glass of wine or a bunch of grapes, anyways?

Deric Bownds said...

I looked up the amount in wine once. The amount in a glass of wine is very small, I think way less than 75 mg. You would have to drink several gallons of wine to get the dosages people are taking.

Carolina said...

I was taking resveratrol a while back and really liked it. I never had any of the symptoms and stopped only because it was so darned expensive. I was taking 500mg twice a day and went down to once a day because I was afraid of possible side effects. Anyway, I just started back again today as a matter of fact and would you believe that within minutes of taking the 250mg of organic (mind you) resveratrol I started getting muscle pains ha,ha,ha,ha! I can't do anything but laugh. So what I'm thinking of doing is taking it once every other day and see how that goes. It may be that the resveratrol I'm taking now may be more concentrated than the one I was taking before. I'll keep you all posted. I'm a 37 year old female and very physically active by the way. Hope everyone is well.

eb26 said...

I have taken resveratrol for 3 years and at first noticed some back pain in the morning. After a month or two the stiffness subsided and I felt great. I think people should work through the pain to get to the long term benefits.

NewsView said...

The source for most resveratrol supplements are not grapes but Japanese Knotweed, which as I understand translates in Japanese to "takes away pain". Pain reduction has been my own experience. I would suspect allergy or autoimmune illness in those who reacted adversely. Many antioxidants have the effect of boosting the immune system, which in those with underlying autoimmune illness could actually trigger added symptoms or flares.

Anonymous said...

Someone above said resveratrol is an aromatase inhibitor. I took an aromatase inhibitor for 5 yrs following a bout with breast cancer. The drug caused significant joint and muscle pain! I actually quit it about 6 mos early because I was tired f hurting so much.

Anonymous said...

Resveratrol taken initially for about a year was great- I had more energy and was able to breath better. However, over time, I developed joint stiffness and pain. Upon ceasing resveratrol, these symptoms subsided after a number of days/weeks. Not believing the association, I went back on resveratrol on two other ocassions after a long hiatus off resveratrol, and the jont pain and stiffness returned over a period of several days/weeks. I do believe as others have noted, resvertrol can indeed cause joint stiffness and pain. Whether you get them or not, probably depends on your genetic make up. If you get these symptoms, my advice is to get off of it immediately. It is NOT a matter of working through the pains/symptoms as suggsted by one posted comment. I have done this now three times at least with the same outcome. I am getting off resveratrol for good.

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