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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that recent studies about the health benefits of resveratrol - a compound found in red wine that is believed by some to help fight cancer, improve heart health and even extend life – have resulted in a surge in sales of dietary supplements containing the ingredient.

More than a dozen such supplements are available in the marketplace, and companies such as Whole Foods have reported that they recently have sold out because of high demand.

The Journal notes that the US Food and Drug Administration only “lightly regulates” this category, and that “some scientists caution that there is no medical consensus on whether the products are effective or even safe for human use. Nor is there much guidance for consumers seeking to distinguish among the supplements' bewildering array of ingredients, dosages and claims.”

There’s also the dosage issue – none of the supplements come close to the doses given to animals in the much-quoted studies.

However, at least one of the manufacturers seems to be getting around the questions by fudging on its claims. It uses a cardiologist to endorse the product, and quotes him as saying, "Am I going to live longer because of (reservatrol)? I'll let you know. But if it turned out not to live up to all of its promises, well then, no harm done."
KC's View:
A couple of weeks ago, when reporting on these studies, we suggested that a reservatrol pill would be a huge hit – we had no idea that it already existed.

We think we’d be inclined to try it…but we’d probably wash it down with a nice Shiraz.