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Resveratrol

 

Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified health care professional before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Related Terms

  • Acetylated derivatives of resveratrol (mono, di, tri), Ban-Ji-Ryun, Banjiryun, Ban-Zhi-Lian, Bauhinia racemosa, Belamcanda chinensis, bergenin, betulin, betulinic acid, bilberries, blueberries, cis-piceid, cis-resveratrol (cis-3,4,5-trihydroxystilbene), Cissus quadrangularis, DMU 212, Elephantorrhiza goetzei, epsilon-Viniferin (a dimer of resveratrol), Erythrophleum lasianthum (Caesalpinioidae, Leguminosae), Eucalyptus sideroxylon, Eucalyptus wandoo, extrait de vin (French), extrait de vin rouge (French), flavanoid, French paradox, gnetin H (a resveratrol analog), Gnetum montanum, grape polyphenols, grape seed proanthycyanidin extract (GSPE), grape skin, heyneanol A (a resveratrol tetramer), hu zhang, hydroxystilbene, hydroxystilbene-1, ko-jo-kon, Liliaceae, Longevinex®, lyophilized grape powder (LGP), mangiferonic acid, mulberries, nonflavanoid polyphenol, nuts, Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (Paeoniaceae), pallidol, parthenocissine A, peanuts, phenolic antioxidant, phytoalexin, phytoalexine, phytoantitoxin, phytoestrogens, phytohormones, phyto-oestrogène (French), phytostilbene, Picea excelsa, piceatannol, pilule de vin, Polygonum cuspidatum, polyphenol, prenylflavanone, protykin, purple grape juice, quadrangularin, red grape skins, red grapes, red wine, red wine polyphenol, RESV, resverol, resveratrol 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, resveratrol disulfate, resveratrol sulfate glucuronide, resveratrol-3-O-glucuronide, resveratrol-3-O-sulfate, resveratrol-4'-O-glucuronide, resveratrol-4'-O-sulfate, resveratrol triphosphate, ResVida®, Revidox®, Reynoutria japonica, RSV, RSVL, Scutellaria barbata D.Don (Lamiaceae), Sophora moorcroftiana Benth., Sophora tomentosa L., spruce, SRT501, stilbene, stilbene derivative resveratrol (RES), stilbene phytoalexin, stilbene polyphenol, stilbenoid, Stilvid®, suffruticosol B (a resveratrol analog), trans-3,4,5'-trihydroxystibene, trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene, transhydroxystilbene, trans-piceid, trans-resveratrol, trans-resveratrol-3-sulfate, tyrphostin, vatdiospyroidol (a resveratrol tetramer), Vatica pauciflora, Vatica rassak (Dipterocarpaceae), vaticanol C (a resveratrol tetramer), vaticaphenol A, Veratrum taliense, viniferin (a resveratrol analog), Vitis vinifera L.

Background

  • Resveratrol is a natural compound that is found in more than 70 plant species, including nuts, grapes, pine trees, and certain vines, as well as in red wine. It is thought to play a role in preventing heart disease. Much research has focused on the potential health benefits of resveratrol due to the "French paradox," the finding that death rates from heart disease are lower in France, where red wine consumption is common.
  • Early studies have shown that resveratrol has antioxidant, anticancer, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial effects. Since resveratrol is found in grapes and wines, early research focused on linking resveratrol to the potential heart health benefits of moderate wine drinking. However, this research has expanded to examine the effects of resveratrol on many medical conditions, including cancer, bacterial and viral infections, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.
  • Although some research suggests that drinking wine may reduce the risk of cancer or heart disease, high-quality human studies that support this benefit are lacking at this time.
  • According to a report, Dr. D. K. Das, a lead researcher in the field of resveratrol and heart health, has been found guilty of fabrication and falsification of data. Some of the studies in this monograph were authored or partially authored by Dr. Das. He is currently associated with scientific controversy, as is the brand of resveratrol Longevinex®.

Evidence

 

Uses based on scientific evidence 

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional.

Grade* 

Acne 

Early research suggests that resveratrol applied to the skin may benefit people who have acne. More studies are needed before conclusions can be made.

C 

Anti-inflammatory 

There is some evidence suggesting that compounds that contain resveratrol, such as red wine or grape powder, may decrease inflammation. Research has been done to better understand the potential anti-inflammatory benefits of resveratrol. However, information is limited, and further research is needed before conclusions can be made.

C 

Chronic obstructive lung disease 

Early research suggests that resveratrol may help reduce inflammation associated with chronic obstructive lung disease. Other studies found that a combination product containing resveratrol improved symptoms. Further research is needed.

C 

Cognitive function 

Early evidence suggests that resveratrol may increase blood flow, but there are mixed results as to whether resveratrol may affect cognitive function. Further research is needed.

C 

Diabetes 

Although the topic has not been well studied in humans, early research suggests that resveratrol may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. More research is needed before conclusions can be made.

C 

Exercise performance enhancement 

Preliminary evidence suggests that a mixture including resveratrol may result in decreased heart rate associated with exercise. Further research is required on exercise performance with resveratrol alone.

C 

Heart disease 

Early studies examined the use of a combination therapy that included resveratrol for heart disease risk, but the effect of resveratrol alone cannot be determined from these. A patented product (Stilvid®) containing resveratrol-enriched grape extract was found to offer some beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors. In other research, resveratrol improved heart function in healthy, exercising people. More studies are needed.

C 

Longevity/anti-aging 

Resveratrol has been included in many herbal supplements that are meant to increase lifespan and prevent aging. However, reliable human research is lacking, and more high-quality studies are needed to determine the effects of resveratrol alone.

C 

Vaccine adjunct 

Early research suggests that resveratrol supplementation may enhance the effects of the seasonal flu vaccine. More high-quality studies are needed.

C 

Weight loss 

Early research suggests that resveratrol may not affect body mass but may still contribute to weight loss by improving metabolism. More research is needed.

C 

 

*Key to grades: 

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).

For full grading rationale, click here.

Uses based on tradition or theory 

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional

Allergy, Alzheimer's disease, amyloidosis (abnormal protein buildup), antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, arthritis, blood thinner, bone density, brain injuries, breathing problems, cancer, cerebral ischemia (reduced blood flow to the brain), cosmetic, degenerative diseases, dementia, epilepsy, Epstein-Barr virus, general health maintenance, hearing loss, H. pylori infection, herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, HIV, hormonal imbalances, Huntington's disease, increased muscle mass, immune system regulation, infertility, ischemia-reperfusion injury prevention (prevention of tissue damage after restored blood flow), kidney problems, lipid lowering effects, liver protection, macular degeneration (eye disease), menopausal symptoms, metabolic syndrome, multiple sclerosis, nerve disorders, neuropathy (nerve damage), obesity, pain, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), Parkinson's disease, pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), seizure, skin care, spinal cord injury, stomach disorders, stroke, swelling, vasorelaxant (lowers blood vessel pressure), wound healing.


Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare professional before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare professional immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid if allergic or sensitive to resveratrol, grapes, red wine, or red wine polyphenols.
  • An allergic reaction to pentylene glycol in a moisturizer, with possible associated sensitivity to resveratrol, has been reported in a case study.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Limited human data suggest that resveratrol may be safe. It is commonly found in foods and drinks. There is little safety information available for resveratrol supplements alone. In general, studies have found that resveratrol is well tolerated and that side effects are mild.
  • Resveratrol may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Resveratrol may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Resveratrol may affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Use cautiously in people who are taking agents that regulate heart rate, as resveratrol may lower heart rate.
  • Use cautiously in doses greater than 2.5 grams daily, as high doses may result in stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
  • Use cautiously in people who have hormonal disorders or those using estrogen therapy. Resveratrol may affect estrogen metabolism.
  • Use cautiously in people who have had a stroke or have memory problems. Resveratrol may cause memory impairment.
  • Use cautiously in people who have immune disorders or those taking agents that may affect the immune system. Resveratrol may affect immune function.
  • Avoid use of red wine, which contains resveratrol, in people who have a history of alcoholism.
  • Avoid use of red wine, which contains resveratrol, in pregnant women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend that pregnant women drink red wine, as alcohol is transferred to the fetus and can lead to life-threatening damage.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of red wine as a source of resveratrol, due to the alcohol content. Consuming large quantities of red wine may have negative effects on the liver. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends up to two drinks daily (eight ounces of wine) for men and one drink daily (four ounces of wine) for women, and it warns that drinking in excess may increase the risk of alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide, and accidents.
  • Avoid if allergic or sensitive to resveratrol, grapes, red wine, or red wine polyphenols. An allergic skin reaction to pentylene glycol in a moisturizer, with possible associated sensitization to resveratrol, has been reported in a case study.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend that pregnant women drink red wine, which contains resveratrol, as alcohol is transferred to the fetus and can lead to life-threatening damage.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare professional before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

  • Resveratrol may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Resveratrol may affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. People taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Resveratrol may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Resveratrol may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. People using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Resveratrol may also interact with agents that may affect blood vessel width, agents that may affect heart rate, agents that may affect the immune system, agents that may affect the nervous system, agents that may treat arthritis, agents that may treat heart disorders, agents that may treat kidney disorders, agents that may treat liver disorders, agents that may treat lung disorders, agents that may treat skin disorders, agents that may treat stomach disorders, antibiotics, anticancer agents, antidepressants (MAOIs), antifungals, anti-inflammatory agents, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering agents, cyclosporin A, estrogens, fertility agents, pain relievers, protease inhibitors, UDP-glucuronosyl transferase (UGT)-1A1-metabolized agents, and weight loss agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Resveratrol may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
  • Resveratrol may affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Resveratrol may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Resveratrol may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
  • Resveratrol may also interact with antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antidepressants (MAOIs), antifungals, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, curcumin, fertility herbs and supplements, garlic oil, grape seed extract, herbs and supplements that may affect blood vessel width, herbs and supplements that may affect heart rate, herbs and supplements that may affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that may affect the nervous system, herbs and supplements that may treat arthritis, herbs and supplements that may treat heart disorders, herbs and supplements that may treat kidney disorders, herbs and supplements that may treat liver disorders, herbs and supplements that may treat lung disorders, herbs and supplements that may treat skin disorders, herbs and supplements that may treat stomach disorders, melatonin, pain relievers, phytoestrogens, quercetin, rutin, UDP-glucuronosyl transferase (UGT)-1A1-metabolized herbs and supplements, vitamin D, and weight loss herbs and supplements.

Authors

Selected References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Bhatt JK, Thomas S, and Nanjan MJ. Resveratrol supplementation improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr.Res. 2012;32(7):537-541.
  2. Crandall JP, Oram V, Trandafirescu G, et al. Pilot study of resveratrol in older adults with impaired glucose tolerance. J.Gerontol.A Biol.Sci.Med.Sci. 2012;67(12):1307-1312.
  3. Cudmore MJ, Ramma W, Cai M, et al. Resveratrol inhibits the release of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt-1) from human placenta. Am J Obstet.Gynecol. 2012;206(3):253-255.
  4. De Groote D, Van Belleghem K, Deviere J, et al. Effect of the intake of resveratrol, resveratrol phosphate, and catechin-rich grape seed extract on markers of oxidative stress and gene expression in adult obese subjects. Ann.Nutr.Metab 2012;61(1):15-24.
  5. Girbovan C, Morin L, and Plamondon H. Repeated resveratrol administration confers lasting protection against neuronal damage but induces dose-related alterations of behavioral impairments after global ischemia. Behav.Pharmacol. 2012;23(1):1-13.
  6. Rosa FT, Zulet MA, Marchini JS, et al. A. Bioactive compounds with effects on inflammation markers in humans. Int.J.Food Sci.Nutr. 2012;63(6):749-765.
  7. Rotches-Ribalta M, Andres-Lacueva C, Estruch R, et al. Pharmacokinetics of resveratrol metabolic profile in healthy humans after moderate consumption of red wine and grape extract tablets. Pharmacol.Res. 2012;66(5):375-382.
  8. Stefanska B, Salame P, Bednarek A, et al. Comparative effects of retinoic acid, vitamin D and resveratrol alone and in combination with adenosine analogues on methylation and expression of phosphatase and tensin homologue tumour suppressor gene in breast cancer cells. Br.J.Nutr. 2012;107(6):781-790.
  9. Timmers S, Auwerx J, and Schrauwen P. The journey of resveratrol from yeast to human. Aging (Albany.NY) 2012;4(3):146-158.
  10. Tinkel J, Hassanain H, Khouri SJ. Cardiovascular antioxidant therapy: a review of supplements, pharmacotherapies, and mechanisms. Cardiol Rev. 2012;20(2):77-83.
  11. Tome-Carneiro J, Gonzalvez M, Larrosa M, et al. Consumption of a grape extract supplement containing resveratrol decreases oxidized LDL and ApoB in patients undergoing primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a triple-blind, 6-month follow-up, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Mol.Nutr.Food Res. 2012;56(5):810-821.
  12. Tome-Carneiro J, Gonzalvez M, Larrosa M, et al. One-year consumption of a grape nutraceutical containing resveratrol improves the inflammatory and fibrinolytic status of patients in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Am.J.Cardiol. 8-1-2012;110(3):356-363.
  13. Xuzhu G, Komai-Koma M, Leung BP, et al. Resveratrol modulates murine collagen-induced arthritis by inhibiting Th17 and B-cell function. Ann.Rheum.Dis 2012;71(1):129-135.
  14. Zamora-Ros R, Urpi-Sarda M, Lamuela-Raventos RM, et al. High urinary levels of resveratrol metabolites are associated with a reduction in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in high-risk patients. Pharmacol.Res. 2012;65(6):615-620.
  15. Zhu W, Qin W, Zhang K, et al. Trans-resveratrol alters mammary promoter hypermethylation in women at increased risk for breast cancer. Nutr.Cancer 2012;64(3):393-400.
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