Appropriate long-term drinking of red wine is associated with a reduced risk for lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, making resveratrol, a constituent of grapes and various other plants, an attractive compound to be studied. Historically, resveratrol has been identified as a phytoalexin, antioxidant, cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) activator, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) inducer, silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) activator, and more. Despite scepticism concerning the biological availability of resveratrol, a growing body of in vivo evidence indicates that resveratrol has protective effects in several stress and disease models. Here, we provide a review of the studies on resveratrol, especially with respect to COX, PPAR, and eNOS activities, and discuss its potential for promoting human health.
2012 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan