How Resveratrol Can Help Prevent Disease

By Michael A. Smith, MD

We like resveratrol, especially the early research showing that it favorably expresses anti-aging genes and prevents cancer — at least in mice. But there’s so much more to what my dad calls, the “red wine” supplement. New research highlights several mechanisms of action by which resveratrol can help prevent and even treat disease.

The table below comes from a systematic review of resveratrol research.1 We added the section on synergistic nutrients that could be taken with resveratrol for added benefit. Although the investigators concluded that more human research is needed, they believe that resveratrol looks promising for preventing cancer, heart disease and even diabetes.

Resveratrol’s Mechanisms of Action
Mechanism of Action
Disease Affected
Synergistic Nutrients
Reduces Oxidative Stress All age-related diseases Antioxidants from dark berries
Ubiquinol CoQ10
Eases Inflammation All age-related diseases Omega-3 Fats
Curcumin (turmeric spice)
Boswellia serrata extract
Suppresses fat cell formation
Stimulates fat cell breakdown
Obesity, heart disease, diabetes Mangosteen & S. Indicus
Fucoxanthin (brown seaweed)
Conjugated linoleic acid
Enhances cell energy production
Protects mitochondrial decay
Obesity, heart disease, diabetes Ubiquinol CoQ10
PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone)
Promotes healthy cell growth
Controls programmed cell death
Cancer Cruciferous vegetable extract
Coriolus mushroom extract
Inhibition of metastasis Cancer Curcumin
Controls of angiogenesis
(blood vessel formation)
Cancer Green tea extract (EGCG)
Milk thistle (silibinin)
Prevents DNA damage Cancer Chlorophyllin
Improves toxin metabolism Cancer Modified citrus pectin
Reduce levels of glutamate Brain and nerve disorders Blueberry extracts
Promotes bone formation Osteoporosis Dried plum extract

What You Need to Know

Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol antioxidant, has several key mechanisms of action, each of which contributes to the reduction of disease and even premature death. Five of the leading causes of death may be prevented or mitigated by resveratrol supplementation, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. All of this put together, makes resveratrol an important part of every wellness program.

Want to dig even deeper? Check out the entire article, How Resveratrol Combats Leading Causes of Death, from the March issue of Life Extension Magazine®.


  1. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e19881.



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