Resveratrol has long been designated as having anti-aging properties even amidst mixed reviews of its efficacy in humans. Popular sources of resveratrol include grapes, red wine, blueberries, cranberries, and dark chocolate. Currently in Canada there are numerous resveratrol-containing supplements approved as natural health products (dietary supplements) by Health Canada’s Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate.
After the implementation of the Natural Health Products Regulations in Canada in 2004, manufacturers were permitted to apply for approval of their resveratrol supplements by submitting safety and efficacy evidence for their products to Health Canada. This proved to be challenging for some applicants given the controversial findings on resveratrol’s benefits in the scientific literature.
Ten years later we note that Health Canada has accepted the safety of resveratrol use in adults, evidenced by over 200 resveratrol supplement approvals and by the publication of a resveratrol monograph. The significance of a monograph, or label standard, is that from the time of publication of the monograph and onwards applicants are no longer required to submit clinical evidence for their resveratrol products. This translates into a swifter access to market relative to the pre-monograph days.
Turning the clock forward once again Health Canada is embarking on a supplemented foods program where addition to foods of certain ingredients may be permissible, evaluated on a case-by-case basis. At this time there is just a short list of ingredients under consideration, and resveratrol is on the list along with other ingredients such as 5-hydroxytryptophan and glucosamine.
All-in-all Health Canada has done their best to continue to develop and expand the regulations governing health products and healthy foods in order to meet the demands of industry and consumers alike who are looking for a wider choice of supplements and even supplemented/fortified food for their healthy lifestyle.