Resveratrol is a well‐known antioxidant that harbours many health beneficial properties, with multiple studies highlighting its antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, and cell protective effects.
The polyphenol has been found in more than 70 different plant species, and important dietary sources include grape skin and seeds, red wine, peanuts, and soy,
Increasingly, it has been believed that resveratrol could also play a role in cutaneous wound healing, scarring, and photo-ageing of the skin.
Writing in the January edition of the International Wound Journal, researchers sought to evaluate the evidence for such views by conducting a systematic review.
Their literature search yielded a total of 826 studies, but only 41 met their strict inclusion criteria.
They wrote: “The included studies showed promising results that resveratrol might be a feasible treatment approach to support wound healing, counteract excessive scarring, and even prevent photo‐ageing of the skin.”
In terms of wounds, the research found that resveratrol promotes anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, and angiogenic effects that could help combat vascularisation, infections, and prolonged inflammatory responses that cause poor and delayed healing. Because resveratrol has an impact on the regulation of inflammation, it’s therefore thought it could improve repair‐related processes in the skin.
The scientist also found cause for optimism in relation to scar healing. They cited studies that showed resveratrol treatment for human hypertrophic scar‐derived fibroblasts (HSFBs) suppressed cell proliferation, which lead to cell cycle arrest and induced apoptosis in a dose‐ and time‐dependent manner.
“Treatment with resveratrol for 24 hours achieved an antiproliferative effect through an induction of apoptosis. The effect was enhanced with longer resveratrol treatment duration and higher resveratrol concentration,” they noted.
However, they cautioned: “Although resveratrol improved antifibrotic properties within different targets in a small number of in vitro and in vivo studies, these resveratrol‐associated effects still need to be confirmed in more animal models and, especially, in more clinical studies. Yet, no clinical studies could be found which investigated the antifibrotic effect of resveratrol.”
The anti-ageing benefits of resveratrol were also assessed, wit the researchers stating that it has been widely used to prevent photo‐ageing through anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumour pathways. However, the specific mechanism underlying the protective effect on UV‐induced damage on a cellular level has not fully been uncovered.
In terms of topical applications, a controlled and prolonged release directly at the target site would ensure the beneficial effects when it comes to wound healing, they added.
“The combination of specific wound dressing properties and resveratrol even lead to synergistic beneficial effects,” they added. “Especially hydrogels with encapsulated resveratrol seem to provide a gradual release of resveratrol, show excellent biocompatibility, and appear promising as dressing materials to support wound healing. A small number of studies examined the effects of resveratrol in combination with other agents for wound healing such as histatin, ferulic acid, or β‐sitosterol, and report promising results. However, beneficial effects cannot only be ascribed to resveratrol itself.”
They concluded that resveratrol represents an interesting and promising novel therapy regime or could also be used as a supplementary treatment for classical treatment regimes.
“Therefore, more studies that investigate and improve the resveratrol skin pharmacokinetics and their clinical relevance are urgently needed.”
Source: International Wound Journal
Int Wound J. 2022 Jan; 19(1): 9–28.
“The impact of resveratrol on skin wound healing, scarring, and aging”
Authors: Andrzej Hecker, et al.