French paradox and apoptosis: The journey of a phytoalexin, resveratrol

Anindya Dey, Prasun Guha, Subrata Chattopadhyay, Sandip K. Bandyopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Resveratrol, a phytoalexin widespread in black grapes and in root extracts of the weed Polygonum cuspidatum, has been an essential ingredient of Oriental folk medicine. Resveratrol is present in red wine and grape juice and is sold as a nutritional supplement. It is well documented that consuming wine in moderate amounts helps to reduce the threat of cardiological disease. This result can be accredited to the inhibition of platelet aggregation and coagulation, besides the antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties of resveratrol. At the low concentrations normally occurring in food it acts as an antioxidant, which accounts for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and its neuroprotection effects. However, numerous studies have revealed that, at higher doses, resveratrol shows anticancer activity by interfering with diverse cellular events associated with the three major stages of carcinogenesis (initiation, promotion and progression). Resveratrol exerts its anticancer activity mainly by inducing apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalNutritional Therapy and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Apoptosis
  • French paradox
  • Resveratrol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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