Friday, December 01, 2006

Fountain of Truth

NPR's Morning Edition did a story this week about the antioxidant resveratrol, a chemical compound thought to have anti-aging properties. As this older NPR story indicates, resveratrol is found in red wine...but there is an invasive species angle here too. Though it was glossed over in the audio story linked to above, the invasive plants Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis) are both significant sources of resveratrol, and have the advantage of being much cheaper then red wine grapes. But before you start munching the knotweed along the highway (yikes!) or planting knotweed in your garden (double yikes!), keep in mind that studies have yet to determine the effect of resveratrol on humans, and as such the appropriate concentration and dosage of resveratrol is unknown.

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