- 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®.
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 provider.
Early research suggests that resveratrol applied to the skin may benefit people who have
acne. More studies are needed before conclusions can be made.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Early research suggests that resveratrol supplementation may enhance the effects of the seasonal flu
vaccine. More high-quality studies are needed.
Early research suggests that resveratrol may not affect body mass but may still contribute to weight
loss by improving metabolism. More research is needed.
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 healthcare provider.
- 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.
- Resveratrol is found in many foods and drinks.
- To treat heart disease, 100 milligrams of resveratrol (Longevinex®) has been taken by mouth once daily for three months. A single dose of 30, 90, or 270 milligrams of resveratrol (resVida™) has been taken by mouth. A dose of 500 milligrams of resveratrol (98% pure trans-resveratrol) has been taken by mouth daily for three weeks.
- To treat diabetes, 5 milligrams of resveratrol has been taken by mouth twice daily for four weeks. A dose of 1-2 grams of resveratrol has been taken by mouth daily for four weeks.
- To enhance the effects of a vaccine, a supplement based on resveratrol has been taken by mouth for four consecutive 20-day cycles, with the first cycle starting five days before the vaccination.
- To promote weight loss, 150 milligrams of resVida® has been taken by mouth once daily for 30 days.
- To treat acne, a resveratrol-containing gel has been applied to the face once daily in the evening for 60 days.
- There is no proven safe or effective dose for resveratrol in children.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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