In the past decade, the small polyphenol resveratrol has received widespread attention as either a potential therapy or as a preventive agent for numerous diseases. Studies using purified enzymes, cultured cells, and laboratory animals have suggested that resveratrol has anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties that might be relevant to chronic diseases and/or longevity in humans. Although the supporting research in laboratory models is quite substantial, only recently data has emerged to describe the effects of resveratrol supplementation on physiological responses in humans. The limited number of human clinical trials that are available has largely described various aspects of resveratrol's safety and bioavailability, reaching a consensus that it is generally well-tolerated, but have poor bioavailability. Very few published human studies have explored the ability of resveratrol to achieve the physiological benefits that have been observed in laboratory models, although many clinical trials have recently been initiated. This review aims to examine the current state of knowledge on the effects of resveratrol on humans and to utilize this information to develop further guidelines for the implementation of human clinical trials.
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