Stroke is a major health concern and continues to be one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. According to the American Heart Association, central nervous system infarction is defined as brain, spinal cord, or retinal cell death attributable to ischemia based on neuropathological, neuroimaging, and/or clinical evidence of permanent injury.
Central nervous system infarction includes ischemic stroke, which refers to infarction accompanied by overt symptoms and silent infarction which causes no known symptoms. Stroke also broadly includes intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The most common cause of stroke is ischemia caused by vascular obstruction in the cerebral circulation. Increased microvascular permeability and intracerebral hemorrhage can also result in decreased perfusion.
High blood pressure, smoking, obesity, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes mellitus, alcohol consumption, psychosocial stress and depression are risk factors associated with 90% of stroke episodes. These conditions decrease the release of nitric oxide hence leading to high production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
In stroke, ROS are generated which play a critical role in its pathogenesis as well as in the development of myocardial infarction. The production of ROS promotes cell death by damaging neuronal membranes and cellular components.
Resveratrol is a natural organic compound produced naturally by some plants in response to several harmful factors such as attack by pathogens (bacteria or fungi), UV radiation, or increased oxidative stress.
Sources of resveratrol in food include skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts. It is also present in red wine. It is a naturally occurring polyphenol that has been shown to have beneficial effects in cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Resveratrol is an effective scavenger of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species, and can neutralize free radicals.
Treatment with resveratrol was shown to prevent the pathophysiologic mechanisms that mediates stroke. These include oxidative stress, inflammation, ionic imbalance, and apoptosis. Resveratrol is a potent pharmacological agent that can prevent secondary damage after stroke and acute CNS injury.
Espinoza, J., et al. in 2017 assessed the effects of repeated doses of resveratrol (1000 mg/day for 28 days) on circulating immune cells in healthy Japanese individuals. Nine healthy volunteers were enrolled in phase 1 of the randomized trial. Consumption of resveratrol resulted in increased antioxidant activities in the plasma of participating subjects. An oxidative marker, 8-OHdG was significantly decreased after the administration of resveratrol.
A clinical trial was performed by Theodotou, M., et al. in 2018 to investigate the effects of Evelor, a micronized formulation of resveratrol, in addition to standardized hypertension treatment in patients with primary hypertension. The study showed that addition of resveratrol to standard antihypertensive therapy is sufficient to reduce blood pressure to normal levels, without the need for additional antihypertensive drugs.
Resveratrol is beneficial in the control of blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide (NO), an endogenous and potent vasodilator. Vasodilatation decreases peripheral resistance and hence lowers blood pressure.
The review of clinical trials by Berma, A., et al. in 2017 showed that resveratrol was well tolerated and beneficial in neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Biomarkers associated with Alzheimer disease and ischemic stroke were reduced upon administration of resveratrol.
Resveratrol was shown to promote endothelial function and improve flow-mediated dilatation in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Resveratrol treatment for 3 months improved glycemic control, decreasing HbA1c levels, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and total protein.
Stroke remains to be one of the most prevalent cardiovascular disease and leading cause of mortality worldwide. The production of ROS is generated in stroke, promoting oxidative and neuronal membrane damage. Resveratrol has been shown to reduce the incidence of stroke by neutralizing free radicals in the human body and reducing cellular damage.
The study aims to determine effects of resveratrol on blood pressure, weight status, glucose, and lipid profile in patients who had a stroke in the last 12 months. These parameters serve as major risk factors for stroke.
Fodor, K., et al in 2018 conducted a study on the effects of resveratrol supplementation on blood pressure, weight status, glucose, and lipid profile in patients who had a stroke in the last 12 months. Patients included were those who had first stroke in the last 12 months and hospitalized for recovery treatment during 2011-2015. All patients were stabilized after stroke.
Two hundred and twenty-eight patients were included in the study and were divided into three groups. Group I, the control group, comprised of 92 patients who underwent allopathic (medical) treatment combined with medical physical rehabilitation.
Group II was comprised of 81 patients who received allopathic treatment and physical rehabilitation, combined with a 12-month oral supplementation of 100 mg/day of resveratrol. Group III was comprised of 55 patients who received allopathic treatment and physical rehabilitation along with a 12-month supplementation of resveratrol with an oral daily dose of 200 mg/patient.
The patients were divided into the groups according to the patient’s clinical history and characteristics and based on their willingness to take 100 or 200 mg resveratrol. No significant differences were noted between groups. Individualization of treatment was done depending on their clinical condition.
All patients were evaluated initially, at 6 months, and at 12 months from the start of the treatment. Blood pressure, weight status, lipid profile (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides), and glucose profile were monitored in each patient.
Paired t-test and Bravais-Pearson correlation coefficient were used for statistical analysis. Those with a p value of <0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. The effect size (ES) was measured to determine the extent of change in parameters at different time points. Small ES was equal to 0.20, medium ES was equal to 0.50, and large ES was equal to 0.80.
There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in the initial mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure values between the 3 groups. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the systolic pressure from the initial evaluation up to 12 months of treatment in the group receiving 100 mg resveratrol, which showed an ES of 0.53, and in the group receiving 200 mg resveratrol, which showed an ES of 0.65.
The control group had an ES of 0.20 (p > 0.05) which showed no significant difference in systolic pressure. A significant difference (p < 0.05) in the diastolic pressure in the group receiving 100 mg resveratrol and 200 mg resveratrol were also noted (ES of 0.37 and 0.39 respectively). The control group had an ES of 0.17 (p > 0.05) which showed no significant difference in diastolic pressure.
The initial BMI values between the two experimental groups showed no significant differences. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the BMI from the initial evaluation up to 12 months of treatment in the group receiving 100 mg resveratrol, which showed an ES of 0.64 and in the group receiving 200 mg resveratrol with an ES of 0.87. The control group which had an ES of 0.20 showed no significant difference.
Resveratrol administration had a substantial effect on all lipid profile parameters after 12 months, especially on triglycerides (ES = 1.81 at 100 mg and ES = 1.95 at 200 mg) and serum cholesterol (ES = 1.51 at 100 mg and ES = 1.63 at 200 mg). The control group had an ES of 1.39 and 1.07 in triglycerides and serum cholesterol respectively.
In HDL cholesterol, the effect of resveratrol 100 mg was 2.02 times greater (ES = 1.25 versus 0.62) compared to the control group. The effect of resveratrol 200 mg was also 2.11 times greater (ES = 1.31 versus 0.62). In LDL cholesterol, the effect of resveratrol 100 mg was 2.34 times greater (ES = 1.24 versus 0.53) compared to the control group while resveratrol 200 mg was also 2.42 times greater (ES = 1.28 versus 0.53).
In diabetic patients, blood glucose levels decreased insignificantly (p > 0.05) after 12 months in the control group (ES = 0.12), in the group receiving 100 mg resveratrol (ES = 0.52), and in the group receiving 200 mg resveratrol (ES = 0.56).
Among non-diabetic patients, there were significant differences (p < 0.05) in blood glucose levels in the group receiving 100 mg resveratrol and in the group receiving 200 mg resveratrol (ES of 0.20 and 0.85 respectively). There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the control group (ES = 0.20).
Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values decreased in the 3 groups but showed no significant differences (p > 0.05) in its decrease. ES was 0.34 in the group receiving 100 mg resveratrol, 0.40 in the group receiving 200 mg resveratrol, and 0.03 in the control group.
The study showed that supplementation with resveratrol had a significant effect on blood pressure, body mass index, lipid profile, and glucose (in nondiabetic patients) in patients who had a stroke in the last 12 months compared to the control group. Resveratrol therefore has a beneficial effect in the secondary prevention of stroke. Further research of supplementation of resveratrol is warranted to provide more treatment breakthroughs in field of medicine.
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