Resveratrol (RSV) is a natural nonflavonoid polyphenol compound containing a stilbene structure similar to that of estrogen diethylstilbestrol. It is a fat-soluble compound existing in cis-, trans-, and piceid isomeric forms, isolated for the first time in 1940 from a plant used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Although initially used for cancer therapy, it has shown beneficial effects against most cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Its beneficial effects are mainly related to its antioxidant properties. Here, we review the metabolism and the ability of RSV to modulate redox signaling and to interact with multiple molecular targets of different intracellular pathways exerting protective effects against cardio-cerebrovascular diseases and metabolic disorders such as diabetes, reporting evidence in animal models and its efficacy and toxicity in humans. The aim of this chapter is to highlight the mechanisms, the biology, and the potential use of resveratrol to prevent, protect and aid cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases.
Part of the book: Resveratrol