The French paradox is the observation over the centuries that even though the French consume a diet high in saturated fats, are crazy smokers, and Parisians are not known for their physical activity outside of the bedroom, they have a much lower incidence of coronary artery disease than Americans. The most recent explanation for this phenomenon is their consumption of red wine (although I don’t think we should discount the relationship of their bedroom activities to longevity ). Recently Dr. Oz, Oprah’s health guru, endorsed the dietary supplement resveratrol, the ingredient in red wine that is believed to be the source of these health benefits. High doses of resveratrol have been linked to longevity and cancer prevention in species other than humans.
However, no real scientific studies have proven the link in humans. This is another case of trying to decide whether to take a nutritional supplement before legitimate science proves its benefits. Since Dr. Oz meets my definition of a highly respected health leader, and the benefits seem to be so potentially staggering, I have decided to take the plunge and add resveratrol to my diet. Although Dr. Oz endorses resveratrol, he does not endorse any particular brand. He does suggest 500 mg per day. Note this is the equivalent of dozens of bottles of red wine per day. Even though I love red wine, I don’t think it would be wise to try to outdo the French in my red wine consumption. If you decide to add the supplement to your diet, try to find one branded by a reputable company. I am purchasing the Walgreen’s brand because I have some faith in the quality control of a national chain. I have not notice any side effects as of yet but will keep you posted.
And if you decide to ingest yours the old fashioned way. Pinot Noir seems to have the highest concentrations of the resveratrol.