Resveratrol – past and present research In an article on The Conversation website, Emma Wightman, senior lecturer in biological (specifically nutrition) psychology at Northumbria University, Newcastle discusses research involving resveratrol, one of the most studied polyphenols. Initial research found that resveratrol significantly increases lifespan in yeast, flies, worms and fish by essentially slowing their metabolism down. Findings suggests that resveratrol could slow the ageing process with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Resveratrol also acts like the female hormone oestrogen, and dietary phytoestrogen (plant-based oestrogen) has been shown to have a positive effect on mood and mental performance in women during the menopause, when oestrogen levels begin to decline. It may also help with osteoarthritis which is often experienced during the drop in oestrogen during the menopause. This research is still ongoing in humans in labs in Australia. At the Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University, Wightman and colleagues are investigating the ability of resveratrol to improve blood flow in the human brain and the hypothesis that this can boost mental performance, particularly among older people aged 50-70 years.