Resveratrol (RS), a polyphenol compound found in grapes and grape products, including wine, peanuts and berries, exists in cis- and trans-isomeric forms. RS is believed to decrease circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. However, it is possible that RS has other mechanisms to reduce the risk of CVD without altering lipid levels. The objective of this review is to critically examine results from recent research concerning potential effects of RS on CVD. RS exerts several health benefits including anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. RS may also prevent lipid oxidation, platelet aggregation, arterial vasodilation and modulates the levels of lipids and lipoproteins. As a potent, anti-oxidant RS reduces oxidative stress and regenerates alpha-tocopherol, which further strengthens the anti-oxidant defense mechanism. RS has been considered safe as no significant toxic effects have been identified, even when consumed at higher concentrations. This evidence identified RS as an effective anti-atherogenic agent, which could be used in the prevention and treatment of CVD.