One-Year Consumption of a Grape Nutraceutical Containing Resveratrol Improves the Inflammatory and Fibrinolytic Status of Patients in Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

João Tomé-Carneiro, Manuel Gonzálvez, Mar Larrosa, et al. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Apr 19. [Epub ahead of print]

The search for complementary treatments in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a high-priority challenge. Grape and wine polyphenol resveratrol confers CV benefits, in part by exerting anti-inflammatory effects. However, the evidence in human long-term clinical trials has yet to be established. We aimed to investigate the effects of a dietary resveratrol-rich grape supplement on the inflammatory and fibrinolytic status of subjects at high risk of CVD and treated according to current guidelines for primary prevention of CVD. Seventy-five patients undergoing primary prevention of CVD participated in this triple-blinded, randomized, parallel, dose–response, placebo-controlled, 1-year follow-up trial. Patients, allocated in 3 groups, consumed placebo (maltodextrin), a resveratrol-rich grape supplement (resveratrol 8 mg), or a conventional grape supplement lacking resveratrol, for the first 6 months and a double dose for the next 6 months. In contrast to placebo and conventional grape supplement, the resveratrol-rich grape supplement significantly decreased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (−26%, p = 0.03), tumor necrosis factor-α (−19.8%, p = 0.01), plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (−16.8%, p = 0.03), and interleukin-6/interleukin-10 ratio (−24%, p = 0.04) and increased anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (19.8%, p = 0.00). Adiponectin (6.5%, p = 0.07) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (−5.7%, p = 0.06) tended to increase and decrease, respectively. No adverse effects were observed in any patient. In conclusion, 1-year consumption of a resveratrol-rich grape supplement improved the inflammatory and fibrinolytic status in patients who were on statins for primary prevention of CVD and at high CVD risk (i.e., with diabetes or hypercholesterolemia plus ≥1 other CV risk factor). Our results show for the first time that a dietary intervention with grape resveratrol could complement the gold standard therapy in the primary prevention of CVD.

PMID: 22520621

Commentary by Gregory Kelly, ND:

There are a few important things to pay attention to in this study. One is its length. This study lasted for 1 year. The researchers found that a resveratrol-rich supplement positively affected a variety of biomarkers of chronic inflammation, without producing adverse effects, when continuously supplemented for this amount of time. Since, chronic inflammation often requires long-term intervention, knowing that this intervention was safe and effective to give long-term is an important finding. The other factor that really stood out was the dose used. The group that received the resveratrol-containing supplement for a year only took the equivalent of 8 mg a day of resveratrol. This is an extremely low dose. It is not hard to find resveratrol products containing between 100-500 mg of resveratrol. In fact, it can be much more difficult to find products with a low dose, equivalent to what was found in this study. While results of this study do not mean the high dose would not have worked as well or better (it might have), it is important that we follow where the existing evidence leads us. And, in this case, it leads us to a conclusion that we can expect a very modest dose of resterveratrol to have a positive clinical effect in the situation studied in this research.