BioVin® is a premium quality grape extract made from the juice, seeds, and skins of red grapes grown in France. It's rich in both trans-resveratrol and grape polyphenols.
Our interest in having a grape extract starts with a family of longevity genes called sirtuins. In a simple sense, sirtuins turn genes on and off to help an organism better respond to stressful circumstances. A healthy sirtuin response is needed to get the most benefit from exercise; sirtuin response is also needed to promote healthy aging when calorie restriction has been used in animal studies. For these and other reasons, upregulating sirtuin activity was one of the areas we were particularly interested in when we began reviewing ingredients for Qualia Life.
Resveratrol was on our initial list of ingredients to review in much more detail, because it has been extensively investigated for its effects on sirtuins. Plants make resveratrol as part of their defenses against pests and as a way to deal with environmental stress. When animals and humans consume compounds such as resveratrol, which have been produced as part of an adaptive response by environmentally stressed plants, they tend to confer stress resistance and survival benefits.
There have been hundreds and hundreds of studies done on resveratrol. Reviewing these studies made it clear that resveratrol would be a great fit in the formula. In a big picture sense, resveratrol is a mild calorie restriction mimetic, influencing longevity genes and proteins. It supports many important healthy aging functional areas including mitochondrial fitness, AMPK upregulation, antioxidant defenses, insulin signaling, and gut microbiota.*
Neurohacker’s French Red Grapes Extract Sourcing
Deciding resveratrol was a fit was only the start of the formulation process. This still left us with several unanswered questions. One of them was whether it might be best to give resveratrol as an isolated compound or as part of a grape extract. The answer to this question became clear very quickly.
Grapes, and red wines made from them, are one of the richest dietary sources of resveratrol. But grapes aren’t simply a source of resveratrol (anymore than an orange is vitamin C or a carrot is beta carotene); grapes also contain other biologically active compounds. One group of these compounds is called polyphenols and include anthocyanins, mostly as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs).
Grape polyphenols, especially OPCs, consistently showed up when we were investigating cellular and mitochondrial molecules, pathways and processes. In some instances, grape polyphenols supported aspects of cellular and mitochondrial function that resveratrol alone didn’t. The end result of our research review was that a full spectrum grape extract made sense for this formulation. This led us to BioVin®—a French red grape extract standardized to contain 5% resveratrol and ≥40% OPCs. This dual standardization gives us the best of both worlds, allowing us to supply the amount of resveratrol we wanted, while also being able to deliver a meaningful amount of OPCs.
The next question we needed to answer was dosage. When isolated resveratrol has been given doses have been as low as 10 mg and as high as several grams. When given as part of a grape extract, doses of resveratrol are typically very low (less than 1 mg) to low (1-10 mg).
More resveratrol has not always been better in studies, which makes sense since it’s part of a plant’s stress defenses. Stress tend to follow a Goldilocks principle, where there’s a range that’s just right—amounts greater than this just right range tend to be counter-productive. Our goal with resveratrol, as with all our ingredient choices, is to select the lowest dose needed to support desired functions, especially in the context of the other ingredients it's combined with. We also consider whether one ingredient within a formulation might amplify another.
Grape extracts and resveratrol are additive. Resveratrol in turn amplifies the bioavailability of another ingredient called apigenin. BioVin® and resveratrol highlight our focus on building formulations with interacting and additive ingredients.
We also think about timing: Resveratrol absorption has been reported to follow a circadian rhythm, with the same dose of resveratrol being more bioavailable in the morning compared to the afternoon or evening. This means a lower dose goes further at breakfast, which is the intended primary dosing period.
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