Benefits of Resveratrol and Inflammation
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable but are a show that the body is trying to heal itself. Acute, short-term, inflammation is characterized by pain, redness, immobility, swelling and heat. These five acute inflammation signs only apply to inflammations of the skin. If inflammation occurs deep inside the body, such as in an internal organ, only some of the signs may be noticeable. Chronic inflammation is when inflammation stays loonger than necessary, causing more harm than benefit – such as in the case of arthritis.
What causes inflammation?
When we hear the word inflammation, we tend to associate it with conditions like arthritis and other more serious issues. When considering what causes inflammation in the body, however, there are so many common causes that are not associated with disease states. These include dietary practices. So what foods cause inflammation? The answer is that eating diets high in certain polyunsaturated fats, simple carbohydrates – especially refined sugars1 , and common allergens like casein and gluten2 are inflammation-promoting. In addition, being in colder temperatures3 , experiencing menopause (with hormone fluctuations)4 , experiencing psychological stress5and exposure to environmental toxins6 can also result in increased inflammation.
How to reduce inflammation
If you want to know how to reduce inflammation in the body, a review of the prior paragraph is a good start. Clean up your diet. Choose monounsaturated fats like olive oil or polyunsaturated fats like corn oil. Eat less refined carbohydrates like sugar and products made from white flour. Avoid foods to which you have a known allergy. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. If you’re not sure how, I recommend my book What’s in Your Blood and Why You Should Care: How to Cleanse and Detoxify Your Blood for Optimum Health (©2019 Square One Publishers). In addition, you can supplement your diet with resveratrol.
Resveratrol anti-inflammatory effects
A good answer to the question, “What helps with inflammation?” is resveratrol.
Resveratrol (RSV) is a natural substance found in grapes, peanuts and Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). RSV’s effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory agent was seen in a randomized, placebo-controlled study7 investigating the effectiveness of 40 mg RSV or placebo daily (for six weeks) on oxidative and inflammatory stress in normal subjects. The results were that RSV significantly reduced oxidative stress (P < 0.05) and also significantly suppressed levels of several inflammatory markers, including TNF-alpha, IL-6, and C-reactive protein (P <). There was no change in these indices in the control group given placebo.
Likewise, in a study8 of firefighters, supplementation with 100mg/day of resveratrol for 90 days (100mg/day, plasma biomarkers of inflammation were reduced after a physical fitness test, including IL-6 and TNF-α. This adds further credence to resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory effects.
It is important to note that the subjects in the two studies just discussed were a normal, non-diseased population. That means that RSV is likely to be effective for inflammation caused by dietary factors and lifestyle practices previously discussed.
-  Lopez-Garcia E, Schulze MB, Fung TT, Meigs JB, Rifai N, Manson JE, Hu FB. Major dietary patterns are related to plasma concentrations of markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80(4):1029-35.
-  Caputo I, Lepretti M, Martucciello S, Esposito C. Enzymatic strategies to detoxify gluten: implications for celiac disease. Enzyme Res2010 Oct 7;2010:174354.
-  Halonen JI, Zanobetti A, Sparrow D, Vokonas PS, Schwartz J. Associations between outdoor temperature and markers of inflammation: a cohort study. Environmental Health 2010;9:42.
-  Abu-Taha M, Rius C, Hermenegildo C, Noguera I, Cerda-Nicolas JM, Issekutz AC, Jose PJ, Cortijo J, Morcillo EJ, Sanz MJ. Menopause and ovariectomy cause a low grade of systemic inflammation that may be prevented by chronic treatment with low doses of estrogen or losartan. J Immunol. 2009 Jul 15;183(2):1393-402. Epub 2009 Jun 24.
-  Black PH, Garbutt LD. Stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. J Psychosom Res 2002;52(1):1-23.
-  Watkins BA, Hannon K, Ferruzzi M, Li Y. Dietary PUFA and flavonoids as deterrents for environmental pollutants. J Nutr Biochem 2007;18(3):196-205.
-  Ghanim H, Sia CL, Abuaysheh S, Korzeniewski K, Patnaik P, Marumganti A, Chaudhuri A, Dandona P. An antiinflammatory and reactive oxygen species suppressive effects of an extract of Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E1-8.
-  Macedo RC, Vieira A1, Marin DP2, Otton R3. Effects of chronic resveratrol supplementation in military firefighters undergo a physical fitness test–a placebo-controlled, double blind study. Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Feb 5;227:89-95.