Wine, resveratrol and health: a review

Nat Prod Commun. 2009 May;4(5):635-58.


Several studies have cited the Mediterranean diet as an example of healthy eating. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has become the reference diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Red wine seems to be an essential component of the diet, since moderate consumption of wine is associated with lower risk and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Evidence is also accumulating that wine helps prevent the development of certain cancers. Of all the many components of wine, resveratrol, which is a natural component specifically present in wine, has been identified as being mainly responsible for these health-promoting properties. Many valuable properties such as cardioprotective and anticarcinogenic activity have been attributed to resveratrol; however, its bioavailability is quite low. The bioactivity of metabolites derived from resveratrol, and the accumulation of resveratrol in vital organs are still under study, but there are high expectations of positive results. Other stilbene compounds are also considered in this review, despite being present in undetectable or very small quantities in wine. The present paper reviews all aspects of the health properties of wine, bioactive compounds found in wine, and their concentrations, bioavailability and possible synergistic effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / chemistry
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Biological Availability
  • Cardiovascular Agents / chemistry
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacology
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Protective Agents / chemistry
  • Protective Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / chemistry
  • Stilbenes / pharmacokinetics
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Vitis / chemistry*
  • Wine*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Protective Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol