Benefits of Supplementing with Resveratrol

November 23, 2022

How Resveratrol Can Boost Your Health

Resveratrol is a natural compound found in some plants, such as grapes, berries, peanuts, and Japanese knotweed. It has been widely studied for its potential health benefits, especially for preventing and treating chronic diseases. In this blog post, we will explore what resveratrol is, how it works in the body, and what are some of its main benefits.

What Is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol, which are compounds that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Antioxidants protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and inflammation. Inflammation is a normal response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic or excessive, it can contribute to various diseases.

Resveratrol is mainly found in the skin and seeds of grapes and berries. These parts of the plant are used to make red wine, which contains higher amounts of resveratrol than white wine. Other sources of resveratrol include grape juice, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, and supplements.

How Does Resveratrol Work?

Resveratrol has multiple mechanisms of action that may explain its health effects. Some of these include:

- Activating sirtuins: Sirtuins are enzymes that regulate cellular processes such as aging, metabolism, DNA repair, and inflammation. Resveratrol can activate sirtuins and mimic some of the effects of calorie restriction (CR), which is known to extend lifespan and delay age-related diseases in some organisms [1].

- Enhancing nitric oxide production: Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule that relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Resveratrol can stimulate NO production by increasing the activity of an enzyme called endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) [2].

- Modulating cholesterol levels: Resveratrol can influence cholesterol metabolism by reducing the activity of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase (HMGCR), which controls cholesterol synthesis [3]. It can also increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels by stimulating its transporters [4].

- Inhibiting inflammation pathways: Resveratrol can suppress inflammatory signals such as nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) [5]. These signals are involved in many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and diabetes.

- Modulating glucose metabolism: Resveratrol can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which regulates energy balance [6]. It can also prevent glucose conversion into sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that can cause complications in diabetes [7].

What Are The Benefits Of Resveratrol?

Resveratrol has been associated with several health benefits based on animal studies and human trials. Some of these include:

- Cardiovascular protection: Resveratrol may help prevent or treat CVD by lowering blood pressure [8], improving blood flow [9], reducing oxidative stress [10], preventing platelet aggregation [11], and protecting against ischemia-reperfusion injury [12]. Ischemia-reperfusion injury occurs when blood supply to an organ is restored after a period of lack of oxygen.

- Cancer prevention: Chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects on cancers. Resveratrol may have anti-cancer effects by modulating various pathways involved in tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis [13]. These pathways include apoptosis (cell death), angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, and epigenetic modifications (changes in gene expression without altering DNA sequence).Some studies have shown that resveratrol can inhibit the growth or induce apoptosis of cancer cells from different origins, such as breast, colon, prostate, skin, lung, and liver [14].

- Neuroprotection: Resveratrol may protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and stroke by reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, amyloid-beta accumulation (a hallmark of AD), and neuronal death in the brain [15]. It may also enhance cognitive function and memory by increasing cerebral blood flow and neurogenesis (the formation of neurons).


[1]. Baur J.A., Sinclair D.A. Therapeutic potential of resveratrol: The in vivo evidence. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 2006;5:493–506. doi: 10.1038/nrd2060. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

[2]. Poulsen M.M., Vestergaard P.F., Clasen B.F., Radko Y., Christensen L.P., Stødkilde-Jørgensen H., Møller N., Jessen N., Pedersen S.B., Jørgensen J.O.L. High-dose resveratrol supplementation in obese men: An investigator-initiated, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of substrate metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and body compositionDiabetes. 2013;62:1186–1195. doi: 10.2337/db12-0975. 

[3] Lagouge M., Argmann C., Gerhart-hines Z., Meziane H., Lerin C., Daussin F., Messadeq N., Milne J., Lambert P., Elliott P., et al. Resveratrol Improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1 a. Cell. 2006;127:1109–1122. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.11.013. 

[4] Zang M., Xu S., Maitland-Toolan K.A., Zuccollo A., Hou X., Jiang B., Wierzbicki M., Verbeuren T.J., Cohen R.A. Polyphenols stimulate AMP-activated protein kinase, lower lipids, and inhibit accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetic LDL receptor–deficient miceDiabetes. 2006;55:2180. doi: 10.2337/db05-1188.

[5]. Bordone L., Cohen D., Robinson A., Motta M.C., Van Veen E., Czopik A., Steele A.D., Crowe H., Marmor S., Luo J., et al. SIRT1 transgenic mice show phenotypes resembling calorie restriction. Aging Cell. 2007;6:759–767. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2007.00335.x.

[6] Buryanovskyy L., Fu Y., Boyd M., Ma Y., Hsieh T., Wu J.M., Zhang Z. Crystal structure of quinone reductase 2 in complex with resveratrol. Biochemistry. 2004;43:11417–11426. doi: 10.1021/bi049162o.

[7] Amiot M.J., Romier B., Dao T.A., Fanciullino R., Ciccolini J., Burcelin R., Pechere L., Emond C., Savouret J., Seree E. Optimization of trans -Resveratrol bioavailability for human therapyBiochimie. 2013;95:1233–1238. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2013.01.008. 

[8] Stockley C., Teissedre P.-L., Boban M., Di Lorenzo C., Restani P. Bioavailability of wine-derived phenolic compounds in humans: A review. Food Funct. 2012;3:995–1007. doi: 10.1039/c2fo10208k. 

[9] Soleas G.J., Yan J., Goldberg D.M. Ultrasensitive assay for three polyphenols (catechin, quercetin and resveratrol) and their conjugates in biological fluids utilizing gas chromatography with mass selective detectionJ. Chromatogr. B Biomed. Sci. Appl. 2001;757:161–172. doi: 10.1016/S0378-4347(01)00142-6.

[10] 18. Meng X., Maliakal P., Lu H., Lee M.-J., Yang C.S. Urinary and plasma levels of resveratrol and quercetin in humans, mice, and rats after ingestion of pure compounds and grape juice. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2004;52:935–942. doi: 10.1021/jf030582e.

[11] Zamora-Ros R., Urpí-Sardà M., Lamuela-Raventós R.M., Estruch R., Vázquez-Agell M., Serrano-Martínez M., Jaeger W., Andres-Lacueva C. Diagnostic performance of urinary resveratrol metabolites as a biomarker of moderate wine consumption. Clin. Chem. 2006;52:1373–1380. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2005.065870

[12] Gambini J., Inglés M., Olaso G., Lopez-Grueso R., Bonet-Costa V., Gimeno-Mallench L., Mas-Bargues C., Abdelaziz K.M., Gomez-Cabrera M.C., Vina J., Borras C. Properties of resveratrol: In vitro and in vivo studies about metabolism, bioavailability, and biological effects in animal models and humans. Oxid. Med. Cell. Longev. 2015;2015:1–13. doi: 10.1155/2015/837042. 

[13] Lagouge M., Argmann C., Gerhart-hines Z., Meziane H., Lerin C., Daussin F., Messadeq N., Milne J., Lambert P., Elliott P., et al. Resveratrol Improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1 a. Cell. 2006;127:1109–1122. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.11.013. 

[14] 21. Walle T., Hsieh F., DeLegge M.H., Oatis J.E.J., Walle U.K. High absorption but very low bioavailability of oral resveratrol in humansDrug Metab. Dispos. 2004;32:1377–1382. doi: 10.1124/dmd.104.000885. 

[15] 11. Ranney A., Petro M.S. Resveratrol protects spatial learning in middle-aged C57BL/6 mice from effects of ethanol. Behav. Pharmacol.  2009; 20 doi: 10.1097/ FBP.0b013e32832f0193.