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Resveratrol as an Anti-inflammatory Agent

By Prof. Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG)

Huntington University of Health Sciences

Resveratrol is a nutraceutical initially made famous as a compound from red wine that may contribute to the “French paradox”—the unexpectedly low rate of death from cardiovascular disease in the Mediterranean population despite the relatively higher intake of saturated fats .Subsequently, excitement blossomed when studies showed that resveratrol helped activate the SIRT 1 gene, associated with longevity.2 While additional research has since demonstrated a range of potential health benefits associated with resveratrol supplementation, the subject of this blog is resveratrol’s effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory agent.

While in-vitro and animal studies certainly showed resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory effects, this nutraceutical has also been shown to effectively suppress oxidative and inflammatory stress with as little as 40 mg/day in normal human subjects.3 This was determined via the the reduction of inflammatory markers such as TNF-alpha, IL-6, and C-reactive protein, with no changes in the placebo group. Another study in postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis pain concluded that 75 mg of resveratrol, twice daily, significantly reduced pain and improved total well-being.4

Likewise, ulcerative colitis has also responded to treatment with resveratrol. In one study,5 56 UC patients receiving 500 mg/day of resveratrol had significant symptom improvement, reduced malondialdehyde (a highly reactive oxidative stress compound), and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD), and total antioxidant capacity. In other research6 with 50 UC patients, 500 mg/day of resveratrol reduced the activity of inflammatory compounds, including TNF-α, hs-CRP, and activity of NF-κB.

Additionally, in a study7 of firefighters, supplementation with 100 mg/day resveratrol for 90 days, plasma biomarkers of inflammation were reduced after a physical fitness test, including IL-6 and TNF-α.

Clearly, resveratrol should be considered as part of a protocol for patients needing anti-inflammatory treatment.


  1. Labinskyy N, Csiszar A, Veress G, Stef G, Pacher P, Oroszi G, Wu J, Ungvari Z. Vascular dysfunction in aging: potential effects of resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory phytoestrogen. Current Medicinal Chemistry 2006; 13(9):989-96.
  2. Borra MT, Smith BC, Denu JM.Mechanism of human SIRT1 activation by resveratrol. J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 29;280(17):17187-95.
  3. Ghanim H, Sia CL, Abuaysheh S, Korzeniewski K, Patnaik P, Marumganti A, Chaudhuri A, Dandona P. An antiinflammatory and reactive oxygen species suppressive effects of an extract of Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E1-8.
  4. Wong RHX, Evans HM, Howe PRC. Resveratrol supplementation reduces pain experience by postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2017 Aug;24(8):916-922.
  5. Samsamikor M, Daryani NE, Asl PR, Hekmatdoost A. Resveratrol Supplementation and Oxidative/Anti-Oxidative Status in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study. Arch Med Res. 2016 May;47(4):304-9.
  6. Samsami-Kor M, Daryani NE, Asl PR, Hekmatdoost A. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Resveratrol in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study. Arch Med Res. 2015 May;46(4):280-5.
  7. Macedo RC, Vieira A1, Marin DP2, Otton R3. Effects of chronic resveratrol supplementation in military firefighters undergo a physical fitness test–a placebo-controlled, double blind study. Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Feb 5;227:89-95.

Professor Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, the Provost for Huntington College of Health Sciences, is a nutritionist, herbalist, writer and educator. For more than 37 years he has educated and trained natural product retailers and health care professionals, has researched and formulated natural products for dozens of dietary supplement companies, and has written articles on nutrition, herbal medicine, nutraceuticals and integrative health issues for trade, consumer magazines and peer-reviewed publications. He can be reached at gbruno@hchs.edu.