The Effects of Resveratrol Supplementation in Overweight and Obese Humans: A Systematic Review of Randomized Trials

Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2016 Sep;14(7):323-33. doi: 10.1089/met.2016.0035. Epub 2016 Jul 5.


Background: Obesity and metabolic syndrome are significant global health issues, with current public health messages predominately focused on altering dietary and physical activity behaviors. Resveratrol is a polyphenol (stilbenoid) commonly found in grapes, and human trials to date have shown conflicting and limited beneficial effects with respect to health. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of resveratrol supplementation on reducing body weight and modifying associated inflammatory markers.

Methods: A systematic review was undertaken following the PRISMA guidelines and using five indexed databases (OVID MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, SCOPUS, and CINAHL). A search strategy was formulated to select randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials investigating the effects of resveratrol supplementation on obesity or overweight, including body weight, metabolic and inflammatory markers.

Results: Five thousand five hundred sixty-nine studies published from 1990 to November 2015 were identified, with only nine papers meeting the inclusion criteria. The studies involved 208 participants (aged 49.2 ± 8.3 years) and utilized a substantial range of resveratrol doses (75-3000 mg/day). Study durations were a minimum of 2 weeks (14-90 days). Seven studies indicated no significant change in body mass index or body weight (P > 0.05), and three studies showed no improvements in fat mass, fat volume, or abdominal fat distribution (P > 0.05). Four studies included measurements of inflammatory markers, with three of these finding resveratrol supplementation to have a significant positive effect (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Based on the included studies, there is currently insufficient evidence to support the recommendation of resveratrol supplements in management of obesity. However, there were significant but not entirely consistent anti-inflammatory effects after resveratrol supplementation in overweight and obese individuals.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / drug therapy*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol