Resveratrols anti-inflammatory power gets human data boost

August 02, 2010

    New research has observed the suppressive effects of Resveratrol on inflammation and oxidative stress in a human clinical trial. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are part of the root causes of many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance and diabetes, auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease.

The new study, published early online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, investigated the effects of Resveratrol-containing Polygonum Cuspidatum extract (PCE) on oxidative stress and inflammation, by measuring its suppressive effect on reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and a range inflammatory mediators.

     The study, led by Prof. Paresh Dandonda from the University at Buffalo, suggests that Resveratrol may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation through increased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines (immune system messengers), and a reduction in pro-inflammatory molecules. “These comprehensive suppressive effects on ROS generation and inflammation are consistent with an anti-aging action of Resveratrol” wrote the researchers.

     Interest in Resveratrol exploded in 2003 when a research team from Harvard reported that it was able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells. The research, published in Nature, was greeted with international media fanfare and ignited flames of hope for an anti-ageing pill. Since then studies in nematode worms, fruit flies, fish, and mice have all linked Resveratrol to longer lives. Other studies on Resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, bone building effects, and protection against Alzheimer’s.

     The aims of the new study were to investigate the effect of PCE on oxidative and inflammatory stress in normal human subjects. The researchers wrote: “There is data showing the anti-inflammatory effects [of Resveratrol] in vitro, but there is no data demonstrating this in humans”

In the study healthy participants were randomized to receive placebo or PCE (containing 40mg Resveratrol) over a six week period. Researchers observed that the Resveratrol rich PCE suppressed reactive oxygen species generation, and also suppressed binding of the pro-inflammatory cytokine NF Kappa B (NFkB). NFkB dictates gene activity triggering inflammation. The study also saw a significant reduction in the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6, two major pro-inflammatory cytokines that are regulated by NFkB. These cytokines are active in wasting syndromes, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

     In parallel to these effects, the study witnessed a reduction in the expression of two major pro-inflammatory molecules (JNK-1 and IKKβ), leading to an anti-inflammatory response. This is very important because IKK-beta is at the root of inflammation triggering NFkB to activate inflammation associated genes which in turn causes the release of the messengers TNF alpha and IL6; these in turn cause the immune system to release inflammation causing chemicals. The study also saw a reduction in the expression of SOCS-3, a protein that is modulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. “The observations suggest a potent anti-inflammatory effect of PCE containing Resveratrol.”

     The results are consistent with potential antiatherogenic and antiaging effects of Resveratrol. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.