Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phenol that is generated by plant species following injury or attack by bacterial and fungal pathogens. This compound was first described as the French Paradox in 1992. Later in 2003, resveratrol was reported to activate sirtuins in yeast cells. Recent experimental studies have found that resveratrol offers a variety of benefits that include both anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects in addition to the ability to reverse obesity, attenuate hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, protect heart and endothelial function, and increase the life span. Multiple molecular targets are associated with the cardioprotective capabilities of resveratrol, and therefore, resveratrol has potential for a wide range of new therapeutic strategies for atherosclerosis, ischemia/reperfusion, metabolic syndrome, cardiac failure, and inflammatory alterations during aging. Expectations for application in human patients, however, suffer from a lack of sufficient clinical evidence in support of these beneficial effects. This article reviews recently reported basic research results that describe the beneficial effects of resveratrol in an attempt to condense the evidence observed in clinical trials and provide support for the future development of novel clinical therapeutics in patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: cardiovascular disease; clinical application; resveratrol.