Preclinical and clinical evidence for the role of resveratrol in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases

Beshay N.M. Zordoky, Ian M. Robertson, Jason R.B. Dyck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Despite advancements in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is still rising. Therefore, new lines of medications are needed to treat the growing population of patients with cardiovascular disease. Although the majority of the existing pharmacotherapies for cardiovascular disease are synthesized molecules, natural compounds, such as resveratrol, are also being tested. Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid polyphenolic compound, which has several biological effects. Preclinical studies have provided convincing evidence that resveratrol has beneficial effects in animal models of hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Although not fully delineated, some of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of resveratrol are mediated through activation of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and endogenous anti-oxidant enzymes. In addition to these pathways, the anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, insulin-sensitizing, and lipid-lowering properties of resveratrol contribute to its beneficial cardiovascular effects. Despite the promise of resveratrol as a treatment for numerous cardiovascular diseases, the clinical studies for resveratrol are still limited. In addition, several conflicting results from trials have been reported, which demonstrates the challenges that face the translation of the exciting preclinical findings to humans. Herein, we will review much of the preclinical and clinical evidence for the role of resveratrol in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and provide information about the physiological and molecular signaling mechanisms involved. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1177
Number of pages23
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to JRBD. BNMZ and IMR are the recipients of postdoctoral fellowships from CIHR and Alberta Innovates — Health Research (AIHS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Resveratrol


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