Resveratrol as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent: mechanisms and clinical implications

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 May;49(5):405-30. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200500022.


Resveratrol is a phytoalexin polyphenolic compound found in various plants, including grapes, berries, and peanuts. Multiple lines of compelling evidence indicate its beneficial effects on neurological, hepatic, and cardiovascular systems. Also one of the most striking biological activities of resveratrol soundly investigated during the late years has been its cancer-chemopreventive potential. In fact, recently it has been demonstrated that this stilbene blocks the multistep process of carcinogenesis at various stages: tumor initiation, promotion, and progression. One of the possible mechanisms for its biological activities involves downregulation of the inflammatory response through inhibition of synthesis and release of pro-inflammatory mediators, modification of eicosanoid synthesis, inhibition of activated immune cells, or inhibiting such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) via its inhibitory effects on nuclear factor (kappa)B (NF-(kappa)B) or the activator protein-1 (AP-1). More recent data provide interesting insights into the effect of this compound on the lifespan of yeast and flies, implicating the potential of resveratrol as an anti-aging agent in treating age-related human diseases. It is worthy to note that the phenolic compound possesses a low bioavailability and rapid clearance from the plasma. As the positive effects of resveratrol on inflammatory response regulation may comprise relevant clinical implications, the purpose of this article is to review its strong anti-inflammatory activity and the plausible mechanisms of these effects. Also, this review is intended to provide the reader an up-date of the bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of resveratrol and its impact on lifespan.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Availability
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Plants / chemistry
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / analysis
  • Stilbenes / pharmacokinetics
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Wine / analysis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Transcription Factors
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Resveratrol