Written by Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald
From your skincare collection to your wine rack, you’ve likely encountered Resveratrol before—but did you know it can play a supporting role in your journey to conceive? When taken as a supplement, this powerful antioxidant delivers serious benefits for both eggs and sperm.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a type of micronutrient found in plants that offers antioxidant properties. That means it can support fertility by protecting eggs and sperm from oxidative stress, but the benefits don’t end there. These wonder-workers also reduce inflammation, protect the heart from the effects of aging and are insulin-sensitizing. Though there’s no known illness caused by a lack of polyphenols, we know that consuming higher amounts is associated with longevity and less risk of chronic diseases.
You may have spotted topical Resveratrol in your face serum to help with fine lines and wrinkles—that’s because the antioxidants work on your skin to reduce oxidative stress. But you'll need to ingest it in order to reap the benefits for your eggs or sperm (or your heart, for that matter).
Resveratrol is found in red grape skins, peanuts, berries and—yes—red wine. Pinot Noir and Malbec wines contain the highest amounts of Resveratrol, but the average red wine typically contains less than 2 mg of Trans-Resveratrol per litre. Meanwhile, a therapeutic dose ranges from 60 to 120 mg, so it would be a literal headache to get enough Resveratrol from wine. Cue the supplements.
Resveratrol vs Trans-Resveratrol
Resveratrol in supplement form can be poorly absorbed, so it’s important to look for Trans-Resveratrol, its active component that packs all the antioxidant goodness.
What are the fertility benefits of Resveratrol for men and people with sperm?
Sperm are incredibly tiny cells, which makes them ultra sensitive to their surroundings— especially if they’re exposed to harmful free radicals from pollution, cigarette smoke and other toxins. Trans-Resveratrol's antioxidants offer protection against this DNA damage. Antioxidants including Resveratrol have been shown to boost several sperm parameters, including concentration, count, and motility.
What are the fertility benefits of Resveratrol for women and people with eggs?
The main benefit of Resveratrol for eggs lies in its antioxidant effects. Refresher: Eggs face damage as they age and/or are exposed to free radicals from stressors like nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, etc. But Resveratrol has the ability to reduce oxidative stress and repair DNA damage to mitochondria (where your cells get their much-needed energy). Research shows that Resveratrol could be especially helpful for aging eggs as well as people with PCOS.
It’s also highly beneficial for those with endometriosis because of its ability to decrease the inflammation and oxidative stress in the reproductive tract that can hurt egg quality. Bonus: Less inflammation also means less of the pain and discomfort that endo warriors know all too well.
Finally, you might’ve heard that Resveratrol increases estrogen, but that’s not entirely accurate. Resveratrol is considered a phytoestrogen (meaning it comes from plants). Phytoestrogens don’t necessarily increase the estrogen levels in your blood. Rather, they can improve how well your estrogen receptors work.
Should I take Resveratrol during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, studies on Resveratrol and pregnancy are very limited. Preliminary research shows that Resveratrol may be beneficial in lowering placental inflammation that’s associated with insulin resistance, and in improving glucose sensitivity and cholesterol levels in pregnant women. Despite this, we recommend discontinuing Resveratrol during pregnancy and lactation unless it's recommended by your doctor.
How much Resveratrol should I take per day?
The recommended dose to see benefits is between 60 to 120 mg of Trans-Resveratrol, an active form of the nutrient. To help you tap into that antioxidant power, our Bird&Be The Power Prenatal for females and The Power Prenatal for males each contain 60 mg of Trans-Resveratrol per daily dose.