Current Update on Preclinical and Clinical Studies of Resveratrol, a Naturally Occurring Phenolic Compound

Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2019;29(6):529-537. doi: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2019027836.


Resveratrol has several therapeutic effects and is a nutraceutical. It was shown to imitate caloric restriction effects, exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects, and affect the development and progression of many diseases through several mechanisms. While there is a wealth of evidence in vitro and in vivo that resveratrol could be a promising therapeutic agent, its potential must be confirmed by preclinical studies and clinical trials. We analyzed the current available preclinical and clinical data on resveratrol's pharmacological action. The bulk of resveratrol's preclinical studies and clinical trials focused on cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and obesity. The latest preclinical studies and clinical trials reported that resveratrol was well tolerated and beneficially influenced biomarkers of disease for neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Nevertheless, in certain types of cancers and in NAFLD, resveratrol had unclear and sometimes even detrimental effects. The major obstacle posed in most preclinical studies and clinical trials was the low bioavailability of resveratrol. This work thus provides useful guidelines for future preclinical and clinical resveratrol study planning and design.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / drug therapy
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Phenol / pharmacology*
  • Phenol / therapeutic use*
  • Resveratrol / pharmacology*
  • Resveratrol / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Phenol
  • Resveratrol