The oxidative stress theory has been associated with atherosclerosis and has prompted a multitude of studies to evaluate the effects of antioxidants on cardiovascular disease prevention. Resveratrol, a relatively new antioxidant has gained considerable curiosity. This polyphenol stilbene identified in grape skin, is believed to be the main component contributing to the anti-atherosclerotic benefits linked to red wine consumption. It has demonstrated the ability to protect endothelial cells from lipid damage, promote vasodilation via modulation of nitric oxide synthesis, and inhibit platelet aggregation and smooth muscle proliferation. Although the complete mechanism of Resveratrol has yet to be fully elucidated, the Sirtuin system, consisting of 7 highly conserved families of regulator genes, are thought to be instrumental in establishing the various health benefits. In this article we assess the current applications, mechanism, pharmacokinetics, bioavailability, and safety profile of the novel antioxidant Resveratrol and provide an in-depth review of the influence of the Sirtuin system on the Resveratrol mechanism of action. We resolve that while early data on Resveratrol are promising, the anti-oxidative and ultimately, anti-atherosclerotic potential depends on further clarification of the intricate and complex relationship between Resveratrol and the Sirtruin system.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Reactive oxygen species; Resveratrol.