Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed disease, and its related
morbidity and mortality pose a significant health problem
worldwide. Despite great efforts to find a cure, cancer
continues to be a substantial cause of death in humans, and
efficient treatment remains a formidable challenge. Despite
several advancements in diagnosis and monitoring, the overall
cancer survival rate has not improved.
Prevailing cancer therapies, e.g., chemotherapy, targeted agents,
radiation therapy, cancer surgery etc., have boundaries resulting
from the development of resistance to the therapy.
Since ancient times, natural products have been utilized to
prevent many chronic diseases, including cancer. A revived
interest in phytochemicals acquired from dietary or medicinal
plant sources has given an alternative source of bioactive
compounds that can be utilized as preventive or therapeutic
agents against a variety of diseases. Resveratrol is growing in
demand because it has cancer-preventive and anticancer
It is a polyphenol compound found in grapes, red wine, berries,
and peanuts[1-2]. It is also a component of some Chinese and
Japanese traditional medicines in its extract forms, such as those
that come from Polygonum cuspidatum, which can treat
inflammation, headaches, cancers, and amenorrhea[1-2].
Resveratrol may help to protect against the thickening of arterial
walls and heart disease, but consuming a diet rich in Resveratrol
does not reduce the risk of dying from cancer or heart
It is available in solid/powder, liquid and in pill forms.
(A) Hay Fever
Using a nasal spray of Resveratrol three times daily for four
weeks appears to lessen allergy symptoms in adults with
seasonal allergies. Using Resveratrol and beta-glucans nasal
spray three times daily for two months also decreases allergy
symptoms in children with allergies.
Resveratrol has exhibited many benefits for diabetes, at least in
These advantages include increased insulin sensitivity and
preventing complications from diabetes.
Resveratrol works by stopping a specific enzyme from turning
glucose into sorbitol which is sugar alcohol.
When too much sorbitol starts to build up in people with
diabetes, it creates cell-damaging oxidative stress.
Other benefits of Resveratrol on diabetes includes protection
against oxidative stress, decreasing inflammation, and activation
of AMPK, which aids to metabolize glucose
Researchers state that the compound could treat diabetes and
its complications, but more research is needed to prove this.
(C) Lowering of blood pressure
By escalating the expression and activity of eNOS, Resveratrol
could be an assuring supplement for lowering blood pressure.
A 2015 review mentioned that high doses might help decrease
the pressure exerted on artery walls when the heart beats .
This pressure is called systolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure usually goes up with age. When
systolic blood pressure is high, it becomes a risk factor for heart
Resveratrol may achieve this blood-pressure-lowering effect by
producing more nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to
But, the authors of that study state that more research is
required before making any specific recommendations about the
most suitable dose of Resveratrol to maximize blood pressure
(D) Positive Effect on blood fat
Numerous studies have suggested that resveratrol supplements
may healthily change blood fats.
Resveratrol seems to regulate cholesterol levels by decreasing
the effect of an enzyme that controls cholesterol production.
Because Resveratrol is an antioxidant, it may decrease the
oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol, which otherwise will cause
plaque to build up in artery walls.
In a study, participants were given grape extract that has extra
After six months of their prophylaxis with Resveratrol, their LDL
had dropped by 4.5%, and oxidized LDL had decreased by 20%
compared to participants who took an unenriched grape extract
or a placebo.
(E) Protects the brain
Due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, Resveratrol
helps to protect the brain.
It seems to interfere with beta-amyloids, essential for
developing the plaques that are signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, the compound may produce a chain of events that defends
brain cells from damage.
While this research is fascinating, scientists still have questions
about how well the human body can use supplemental
Resveratrol, limiting its immediate use as a supplement to
protect the brain.
Resveratrol has been studied in-vivo for its ability to stop and
treat cancer. However, mixed results are achieved.
In-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown to fight many types of
cancer, including gastric cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer,
breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Resveratrol may combat cancer cells by changing the gene
expression, which inhibits the growth of cancer tumours .
Also, it may interfere with certain hormones and prevent
Because studies have been carried out in test tubes and animals,
more research is required to check if and how this compound
might be utilized for human cancer therapy.
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Resveratrol has been examined for its anticancer potential. It
was seen to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells through
apoptosis and by exerting anti-estrogenic effects. Trans-
resveratrol appears to decrease methylation of the tumour
suppressor gene RASSF-1alpha in women at increased breast
cancer risk. In addition, breast cancer cell movement and
invasion reductions were seen after supplementation.
Resveratrol growth factor heregulin-beta1 mediated matrix
metallopeptidase 9 expressions in human breast cancer cells.
But, contradictory data show that Resveratrol mimics
phytoestrogens and could stimulate genes usually regulated by
estrogens or androgens. In other studies, Resveratrol helped
reduce prostate tumorigenesis by decreasing prostatic levels of
mTOR complex activity and enhanced expression of SIRT1; and
modulated steroid hormone-dependent pathways to inhibit
prostate cancer cell growth. However, it also enhances
angiogenesis and inhibits apoptosis in vivo. Further research
Additional findings show that Resveratrol downregulates p21 and
upregulates cyclin E causing S-phase accumulation and
apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells. It also inhibits CYP1A1,
CYP1A2, and CYP1B1 enzymes in tumour cells, perhaps exerting
antitumor effects as some of these enzymes are known to be
involved in activating procarcinogens and toxins. Protective
effects of Resveratrol against doxorubicin-induced
cardiotoxicity are because of upregulation of SIRT1-mediated
p53 deacetylation. Also, it protects against cisplatin-induced
cardiotoxicity by suppressing oxidative stress.
Resveratrol is available under different brands and other names:
cis-resveratrol, kojo-kon, Stilbene phytoalexin, and trans-
Evidence from clinical studies is inadequate to give dosing
guidelines. Single-dose studies advise that a safe daily dosage
for a person weighing 70 kg may be 450 mg/day. Dosages
above 1 g/day seem to have been well-tolerated in a short-term
(2-week) trial but reported adverse reactions in another
study. In a meta-analysis estimating the effects of Resveratrol
on glucose control and insulin sensitivity, dosing extends from
8- 1,500 mg/day, and the span varied between 2 weeks to 6
months; these studies centred on patients with type 2 diabetes
mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, or metabolic syndrome, or
healthy participants. High-dose of Resveratrol (1,000 mg
twice daily) has been utilized for up to 1 year in patients with
mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease and 500 mg 3 times daily
for 6 months in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. For exercise
capacity, the beginning dose was 500 mg twice a day for 1 week,
then raised to 1,000 mg twice a day for the remaining 3
Orally: Resveratrol is LIKELY SAFE when used in the same
quantity found in foods. When consuming in doses up to 1500
mg daily for up to 3 months, Resveratrol is POSSIBLY SAFE.
Higher doses ranging from 2000-3000 mg per day have been
used safely for 2-6 months. However, these larger doses of
Resveratrol are more likely to produce stomach problems.
Application on skin: Resveratrol is POSSIBLY SAFE when
applied to the skin for approx 30 days.
Pregnant and Lactating women: Resveratrol is LIKELY SAFE
when taken in the exact amounts found in some foods.
However, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the source of
Resveratrol is essential. Wine should not be taken as a source
of Resveratrol during pregnancy and lactation.
Bleeding disorders: Resveratrol might reduce blood clotting and
increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding
In various hormone sensitive cancers such as breast cancer,
uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis etc.: Resveratrol
might act the same as estrogen. So beware before taking
Resveratrol in such conditions.
Surgery: Resveratrol might increase the chance of bleeding
during and after surgery. Stop using Resveratrol approx two
weeks before a scheduled surgery.
● Antiplatelet drugs: Although clinical significance is yet to
be determined, Resveratrol inhibits platelet aggregation in
vitro, so concomitant use with antiplatelet medications may
develop bleeding risk. Therefore, one should consult a
health physician before consuming it.
● Cytochrome P450 substrates: Resveratrol inhibits CYP3A4,
CYP2D6 and induced CYP1A2 in healthy volunteers
following daily consumption of one gram of Resveratrol for
four weeks. Hence, it can affect the levels of drugs that
are metabolized by these enzymes.
● Carbamazepine: Polygonum cuspidatum, an herbal
supplement rich in Resveratrol, raised carbamazepine
blood levels due to CYP3A inhibition and multidrug
resistance-associated protein 2 in a murine model.
Clinical significance is yet to be determined.