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Resveratrol: Biological Activities and Potential Use in Health and Disease

  • Gianfranco RisuleoEmail author
  • Camillo La Mesa
Chapter

Abstract

Resveratrol (RV) is a polyphenol non-flavonoid compound present in strongly pigmented vegetables and fresh fruits as well as dried nuts such as peanuts. High concentrations of this natural compound were found, in the modern occidental world, in the peel of the berries of the red grape Vitis vinifera, but usage of this natural drug in popular medicine has been documented much earlier. Resveratrol exhibits diverse biological activities such as antitumor, antioxidant, antiviral, and phytoestrogenic. In particular, as the work reported from our laboratories, the compound shows an inhibitory effect on murine polyomavirus DNA replication, while at higher concentrations, RV shows a significant cytotoxic effect. This complex dose-dependent behavior is not intrinsic to the drug. Other natural substances behave in a similar way, curcumin and a semi-purified fraction of the whole neem oil being two different examples. Most likely, the administration of RV to cultured cells alters the permeability and fluidity of the cell membrane. Also, data presented in literature ascribe to RV an antiproliferative action, thus rendering this drug a good candidate for the control of neoplastic growth. The potential usage of RV both in human and veterinary medicine is also examined in this review.

Keywords

Resveratrol Nutraceutical Veterinary nutraceutical Biological properties Potential applications Advanced medicine 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and Biotechnologies “Charles Darwin”Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry “Stanislao Cannizzaro”Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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