BACKGROUND: Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol, has gained attention in recent years because of its connection with the health benefits of red wine and its anticancer activity in vitro. Studies in animal models have demonstrated beneficial effects on glucose metabolism, vascular function and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Human studies designed to understand the role of resveratrol in the prevention and treatment of age-related conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer have recently been undertaken.
METHODS: We searched PubMed for original articles that reported studies of resveratrol in humans, using search terms, including resveratrol, human studies, glucose metabolism, vascular function, and inflammation. We also searched the reference lists of identified articles for additional papers and sought expert opinion on relevant studies.
RESULTS: Resveratrol treatment has shown beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in some, but not all studies. Study population, resveratrol source, and dose have varied widely, potentially explaining inconsistent findings. Improvements were noted in endothelial function, systolic blood pressure, and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in several studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the strong preclinical evidence of positive cardiometabolic effects, studies to date have not confirmed resveratrol's benefit in humans. Study variability and methodological issues limit interpretation of available results. Additional research, focusing on subjects with defined metabolic defects and using a range of doses, is needed to advance the field.
- blood pressure
- vascular function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine