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Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2001;27(5-6):233-48.

Benefits of resveratrol in women's health.

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Department of Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178, USA.


Resveratrol and trans-resveratrol are powerful phytoestrogens, present in the skins of grapes and other plant foods and wine, which demonstrate a broad spectrum of pharmacological and therapeutic health benefits. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant-derived nonsteroidal compounds that are functionally and structurally similar to steroidal estrogens, such as estradiol, produced by the body. Various studies, reviewed herein, have demonstrated the health benefits of phytoestrogens in addressing climacteric syndrome including vasomotor symptoms and postmenopausal health risks, as well as their anticarcinogenic, neuroprotective and cardioprotective activities and prostate health and bone formation promoting properties. Conventional HRT drugs have been demonstrated to cause serious adverse effects including stroke and gallbladder disease, as well as endometrial, uterine and breast cancers. Recent research demonstrates that trans-resveratrol binds to human estrogen receptors and increases estrogenic activity in the body. We investigated the effects of protykin, a standardized extract of trans-resveratrol from Polygonum cuspidatum, on cardioprotective function, the incidence of reperfusion-induced arrhythmias and free radical production in isolated ischemic/reperfused rat hearts. The rats were orally treated with two different daily doses of protykin for 3 weeks. Coronary effluents were measured for oxygen free radical production by electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy in treated and drug-free control groups. In rats treated with 50 and 100 mg/kg of protykin, the incidence of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation was reduced from its control value of 83% to 75% (p < 0.05) and 33% (p < 0.05), respectively. Protykin was seen to possess cardioprotective effects against reperfusion-induced arrhythmias through its ability to reduce or remove the reactive oxygen species in ischemic/reperfused myocardium. Taken together, these data suggest that trans-resveratrol supplementation may be a potential alternative to conventional HRT for cardioprotection and osteoporosis prevention and may confer other potential health benefits in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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