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INTRODUCTION

Activities:

Antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, antityrosinase, cardioprotective

Important Chemical Components:

Also known as trans-3,5,4′,-trihydroxystilbene, or 3, 4′, 5-stilbenetriol

Origin Classification:

Resveratrol is natural and found in approximately 70 plants, including many plant foods. It can also be synthesized chemically.

Personal Care Category:

Antiaging, anticancer

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:

DRNW, DRPW, DSNW, DSPW, ORNW, ORPW, OSNW, and OSPW

SOURCE

Resveratrol (trans-3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene), a polyphenolic phytoalexin synthesized in nearly 70 species and found notably in the skin and seeds of grapes, berries (e.g., blueberries, cranberries, mulberries, bilberries, lingberries, partridgeberries, sparkleberries, and deerberries), peanuts (in the nonedible as well as edible parts of the plant), red wine, purple grape juice, jackfruit, pomegranate, eucalyptus, the roots of Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed, known as Ko-jo-kon in Japanese), scots pine, spruce, corn lily, gnetum, and butterfly orchid tree, displays a wide range of biological and pharmacological properties.1–13 It is particularly abundant in the skin and seeds of Vitis vinifera, known as the grapevine, which is native to southern Europe and western Asia.14 P. cuspidatum is used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat dermatitis, among other conditions.15

Studies have shown that resveratrol possesses potent antioxidant, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory characteristics (Table 50-1).15–18 Specifically, in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that resveratrol exerts chemopreventive and antiproliferative activity against various cancers, including skin cancer, by suppressing cellular events associated with tumor initiation, promotion, and progression and triggering apoptosis in such tumor cells.10,19,20

TABLE 50-1Pros and Cons of Resveratrol

HISTORY

Vitis vinifera, the primary source of resveratrol (particularly in the form of red wine), has been used since antiquity. The use of grapevine or grapeseed as food is believed to predate recorded history and its use for wine has been traced back 4,500 years to ancient Egypt.17 Resveratrol itself was first identified from the roots of Veratrum grandiflorum (white hellebore), though, in 1940.21–24 The so-called “French paradox,” the phenomenon identified in the early 1990s indicating that the low rate of heart disease seen in France despite a rich diet including regular consumption of red wine, has been partially attributed to the antioxidant properties of the resveratrol found in red wine and prompted great interest in the compound.5,13,25–28 Indeed, resveratrol has been shown in several in vitro and in vivo models to have the capacity to mitigate damage in heart ischemia reperfusion as well as brain ischemia/reperfusion in rodent models.29

Research on resveratrol really exploded after a seminal report in ...

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