An animal study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology (2010 Feb 1; [Epub ahead of print]) looked at the effect resveratrol supplementation had on ulcerative colitis. Acute colitis was induced in six-week-old mice and developed into chronic inflammation. The mice were given either a standard diet or a diet fortified with 20 mg/kg of resveratrol. The supplemented group had a reduction in symptoms and a reduction in inflammatory chemicals (cytokines, like TNF-alpha, IL-beta, prostaglandin E synthase-1, COX-2 and iNOS), and the non-supplemented group did not experience these improvements.
Resveratrol is a phytoalexin that is found in certain plants. A phytoalexin is a compound that is produced by a plant to protect itself from invading microorganisms. Just as bioflavonoids, which are produced by plants as protection from the oxidative stress of photosynthesis, can protect human cells when ingested, resveratrol may also be beneficial. One place where resveratrol is found is in dark-colored grapes and wine.