Biological effects of resveratrol

Life Sci. 2000 Jan 14;66(8):663-73. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(99)00410-5.


Resveratrol (3, 4', 5 trihydroxystilbene) is a naturally occuring phytoalexin produced by some spermatophytes, such as grapevines, in response to injury. Given that it is present in grape berry skins but not in flesh, white wine contains very small amounts of resveratrol, compared to red wine. The concentrations in the form of trans- and cis- isomers of aglycone and glucosides are subjected to numerous variables. In red wine, the concentrations of the trans-isomer, which is the major form, generally ranges between 0.1 and 15 mg/L. As phenolic compound, resveratrol contributes to the antioxidant potential of red wine and thereby may play a role in the prevention of human cardiovascular diseases. Resveratrol has been shown to modulate the metabolism of lipids, and to inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and the aggregation of platelets. Moreover, as phytoestrogen, resveratrol may provide cardiovascular protection. This compound also possesses anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. However, the bioavailability and metabolic pathways must be known before drawing any conclusions on the benefits of dietary resveratrol to health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Resveratrol
  • Rosales / chemistry
  • Stilbenes / chemistry
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Wine / analysis


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol