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Resveratrol supports brain health, study shows


  • Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
  • Supplementation: single doses of trans-resveratrol (75, 150, and 300mg) at weekly intervals
  • Maximum brain health benefits seen with lowest dose (75 mg)


This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was designed to determine the most efficacious acute dose of trans-resveratrol to improve cerebral vasodilator responsiveness (CVR) to hypercapnia in adults with type 2 diabetes.

For this study, researchers enrolled 38 dementia-free, older adults with non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes. Of these, 36 participants (26 men and 10 women) completed the study; two participants withdrew

prior to the first intervention visit. The participants were typically elderly, obese, mildly hypertensive and insulin resistant. To manage their diabetes, most (n= 28) used oral hypoglycemic agents (namely Metformin and/or sulfonylurea); others (n=8) used diet and exercise alone. The majority (78%) also took medication for hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia. The participants had well-controlled diabetes as measured by HbA1c values, normal cognitive function as measured by the Mini Modified Mental State Examination, but cerebrovascular pathology as measured by cerebral pulsatility indices.

The four intervention visits took place over 28 days at 7-day intervals. Participants attended the clinic in a fasted state at the same time each week. CVR was assessed using an ultrasound probe of the middle cerebral arteries (MCA) and posterior cerebral arteries (PCA), after which participants were given a standard meal to consume within 10 minutes along with their assigned dose of resveratrol to be taken with water. CVR in the MCA was assessed again at 45-60 minutes after resveratrol intake; CVR in the PCA was assessed 90-120 minutes post-intake. This protocol was repeated at weekly intervals with the different resveratrol doses.

Compared to placebo, consumption of each resveratrol dose resulted in significant within-individual improvement of CVR in the MCA (75 mg: 13.8+3.5%, P<.001, 95%CI 6.6-21.1; 150 mg: 8.9+3.5%, P<.016, 95%CI 1.8-16.0; 300 mg: 13.7+3.3%, P<.001, 95%CI 7.0-20.4). Interestingly, the 75-mg dose elicited the largest absolute improvement compare to placebo. In the PCA, the within-individual improvement of CVR was evident following 75 mg resveratrol but not after the higher doses (75 mg: 13.2+4.5%, P<.016; 150 mg: 0.1+6.6%, P<.988; 300 mg: 14.6+9.2%, P<.145).

No adverse events were reported during this intervention.

These preliminary findings provide the first clinical evidence that resveratrol significantly improves vasodilator responsiveness (CVR) in cerebral arteries in adult with diabetes. Importantly, maximum improvement was observed with the lowest dose used (75 mg), which helps inform a safe and effective dose for further clinical research.


Wong RH, Nealon RS, Scholey A, Howe PR. Low dose resveratrol improves cerebrovascular function in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2016;26(5):393-9.

PMID: 27105868