Resveratrol

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What is it?

Resveratrol is a chemical found in red wine, red grape skins, purple grape juice, mulberries, and in smaller amounts in peanuts. It is used as a medicine.

Resveratrol is most commonly used for high cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, and many other conditions. However, there is not strong evidence to support the use of resveratrol for these uses.

It is effective?
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly Effective for …

  • Hay fever. Using a nasal spray containing resveratrol three times daily for 4 weeks seems to reduce allergy symptoms in adults with seasonal allergies. Using a nasal spray containing resveratrol and beta-glucans three times daily for 2 months also seems to reduce allergy symptoms in children with seasonal allergies.
  • Obesity. Some research shows that taking resveratrol can increase weight loss in obese adults.

Possibly Ineffective for …

  • Heart disease. People who consume higher amounts of dietary resveratrol do not seem to have a lower risk of heart disease compared to people who consume lower amounts. Also, taking resveratrol by mouth does not seem to improve levels of cholesterol or blood fats called triglycerides in people at risk for heart disease.
  • A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Taking resveratrol doesn’t seem to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol in people with metabolic syndrome. Early research shows that resveratrol might help to reduce body weight and body fat in people with metabolic syndrome. But more research is needed to confirm.
  • Build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Most early research shows that resveratrol does not improve liver function, liver scarring, or cholesterol levels in people with NAFLD.

Insufficient Evidence to Make a Determination for …

  • Acne. Early research shows that applying a gel containing resveratrol to the face for 60 days reduces the severity of acne.
  • Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. It is unclear if resveratrol helps with memory or thinking skills in older people. Some early research shows that resveratrol might improve thinking skills and memory in women after menopause. But other research shows that resveratrol given in higher doses or for a longer time doesn’t improve memory or thinking skills in healthy older adults.
  • A blood disorder that reduces levels of protein in the blood called hemoglobin (beta-thalassemia). Early research shows that taking trans-resveratrol does not improve hemoglobin levels or the need for blood transfusions in people with beta-thalassemia.
  • Cancer. People who consume higher amounts of dietary resveratrol do not seem to have a lower risk of cancer compared to people who consume lower amounts.
  • Diabetes. Some research shows that resveratrol improves blood sugar control in people with diabetes. But other research shows no benefit. Resveratrol might help lower blood sugar in only patients with blood sugar levels that are not well controlled. More research is needed to confirm.
  • Kidney damage in people with diabetes (diabetic nephropathy). Early research shows that taking resveratrol with the drug losartan can improve some measures of kidney damage in people with diabetic nephropathy.
  • A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Early research suggests that taking a combination product containing resveratrol, vitamin C, zinc, and flavonoids slightly reduces coughing and mucus production in people with COPD. But it’s not clear if the benefit is due to resveratrol or other ingredients.
  • Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that adding resveratrol to standard treatments for knee osteoarthritis might improve pain, function, and stiffness more than standard treatments alone.
  • Improving a medical procedure called peritoneal dialysis. Early research shows that resveratrol might make blood filtering go faster in people undergoing peritoneal dialysis.
  • A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Early research shows that resveratrol decreases testosterone in women with PCOS. But it doesn’t improve weight, lipid levels, acne, or unwanted hair growth in women with this condition.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Taking resveratrol along with drugs for RA seems to reduce the number of painful and swollen joints. But it’s not known if resveratrol also helps reduce joint damage.
  • A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Early research shows resveratrol might improve symptoms and reduce the activity of ulcerative colitis.
  • Aging skin.
  • Decline in memory and thinking skills in older people that is more than what is normal for their age.
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function).
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate resveratrol for these uses.

How does it work?
Resveratrol might expand blood vessels and reduce the activity of cells important in blood clotting. Some research suggests that resveratrol has weak estrogen (a female hormone) effects. It may also decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). Resveratrol might reduce levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood and help the body fight against disease. It might also prevent proteins in the brain from sticking together to help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Is there concern for the safety of its use?
When taken by mouth: Resveratrol is LIKELY SAFE
when used in the amounts found in foods. When taken in doses up to 1500 mg daily for up to 3 months, resveratrol is POSSIBLY SAFE. Higher doses of up to 2000-3000 mg daily have been used safely for 2-6 months. However, these higher doses of resveratrol are more likely to cause stomach problems.

When applied to the skin: Resveratrol is POSSIBLY SAFE
when applied to the skin for up to 30 days.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Resveratrol is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts found in some foods. However, during pregnancy and breast-feeding, the source of resveratrol is important. Resveratrol is found in grape skins, grape juice, wine, and other food sources. Wine should not be used as a source of resveratrol during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Children: Resveratrol is POSSIBLY SAFE in children when sprayed in the nostrils for up to 2 months.

Bleeding disorders: Resveratrol might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Resveratrol might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use resveratrol.

Surgery: Resveratrol might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using resveratrol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any drug interactions?

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

Resveratrol might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking resveratrol along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking resveratrol, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Resveratrol might slow blood clotting. Taking resveratrol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Are there any interactions with herbs and supplements?
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet herbs and supplements): Resveratrol might slow blood clotting. Using it along with other herbs or supplements that might also slow blood clotting could increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in some people. These herbs include angelica, clove, danshen, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng Panax, horse chestnut, red clover, turmeric, and others.

Are there any interactions with food?
Fats and fat-containing foods: Taking resveratrol with a meal that is high in fat may reduce the amount of resveratrol that is absorbed by the body.

What dose is used?
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • For seasonal allergies (hay fever): Two sprays of a 0.1% resveratrol nasal spray into each nostril three times/day for up to 4 weeks.
  • For obesity: 500 mg or less of resveratrol daily for 3 months or longer.

By what other names is the product known?
3,5,4′ TriHydroxy-Transstibene, (E)- 5-(4-hydroxystyryl)benzene-1,3-diol, 3,4′,5-stilbenetriol, 3,5,4′ -trihydroxystilbene, 3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene, 3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene, Cis-Resveratrol, Extrait de Vin, Extrait de Vin Rouge, Kojo-Kon, Phytoalexin, Phytoalexine, Phytoestrogen, Phyto-œstrogène, Pilule de Vin, Protykin, Red Wine Extract, Resvératrol, Resveratrols, Resvératrols, RSV, RSVL, Stilbene Phytoalexin, Trans-Resveratrol, Trans-Resvératrol, Wine Extract, Wine Pill.

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