Resveratrol (3,4′,5 trihydroxystilbene), a naturally-occurring molecule known as a phytoalexin, is synthesized by plants in response to attacks by fungi, bacteria, or other injurious substances; it is also known to possess an array of cardioprotective effects. Recently, studies have shown resveratrol to protect against the metabolic changes associated with hypercaloric diets in mice with induced insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Despite impressive gains in diagnosis and treatment, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a serious clinical problem and threat to public health. The metabolic syndrome, which identifies persons at higher risk for diabetes mellitus and CVD, is approaching a prevalence of nearly 25% of the western world. If the metabolic syndrome can be considered a polar opposite to caloric restriction, then agents that mimic caloric restriction may offer a new therapeutic approach to preventing CVD. The authors discuss the cardioprotective effects of resveratrol and highlight its role in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism in mice. Armed with the ability to prevent the deleterious effects of excess caloric intake and prevent detrimental cardiovascular events, resveratrol merits proper clinical investigations for its efficacy in treating metabolic diseases and CVD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine