Resveratrol supplements could improve heart health: Study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Resveratrol, Blood vessel

Daily supplements of resveratrol may improve vascular function and lead to improved cardiovascular health, according to new research.

The study published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases,​ is the first research to evaluate the acute effects of resveratrol supplementation on circulatory function, revealing that resveratrol improves flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) - a marker of cardiovascular function.

“Oral resveratrol supplementation elicited an acute dose related improvement in endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, as demonstrated by significant increases in FMD at each dose relative to the placebo,”​ wrote the researchers, led by Dr Narelle Berry from the University of South Australia.

The study used DSM’s ResVida resveratrol ingredient, and DSM supported the study.

Risk factor

Flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery is a marker of blood vessel function and cardiovascular health, and is recognised as an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Impaired FMD is associated with several cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension and obesity, and is characterised by structural and functional changes to the blood vessel endothelium.

Various food ingredients, including polyphenols, and isofolavones​, have been suggested to improve FMD.

The cardiovascular benefits of resveratrol - a polyphenol compound from red wine - have been suggested include, suppression of platelet aggregation, enhanced antioxidant status, and increased NO availability.

A key mechanism behind blood vessel endothelial dysfunction is suggested to involve the impaired release of nitric oxide (NO), causing blood vessels to constrict. Increased availability of resveratrol is suggested to increase NO production.

This study investigated if oral supplementation of resveratrol can enhance FMD, and assessing any potential dose-response relationship for this effect.

The research compared supplements of 30, 90, and 270 mg resveratrol with placebo in 19 overweight or obese subjects.

Proportional increases

The study revealed increasing doses of resveratrol were associated with proportional increases in plasma resveratrol concentrations.

Resveratrol was also seen to significantly improve FMD compared to placebo.

Resveratrol supplementation increased blood plasma concentrations from 4.1 in placebo to 7.7 after 270 mg resveratrol, and a significant linear relationship was found between resveratrol dose and acute FMD responses.

“Whilst the FMD assessment does not reveal whether resveratrol is acting on the endothelium or on vascular smooth muscle to enhance vasodilatation, there is evidence to suggest that resveratrol can increase endothelium-derived NO bioavailability,” ​wrote the authors.

The researchers note their results suggest that resveratrol could play a role in the reported cardiovascular health benefits of grapes and red wine.

“Further research is warranted to confirm the sustainability of the effect of resveratrol on FMD,”​ they added

Source: Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2010.03.003
“Acute resveratrol supplementation improves flow-mediated dilatation in overweight/obese individuals with mildly elevated blood pressure”
Authors: R.H.X. Wong, P.R.C. Howe, J.D. Buckley, A.M. Coates, I. Kunz,N.M. Berry

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