Resveratrol for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: hype or hope?

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Purpose of review

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease with a high prevalence of extrapulmonary manifestations and, frequently, cardiovascular comorbidity. Resveratrol is a food-derived compound with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, metabolic and cardioprotective potential. Therefore, resveratrol might improve the pulmonary as well as extrapulmonary pathology in COPD. In this review, we will evaluate knowledge on the effects of resveratrol on lung injury, muscle metabolism and cardiovascular risk profile and discuss if resveratrol is a hype or hope for patients with COPD.

Recent findings

Experimental models of COPD consistently show decreased inflammation and oxidative stress in the lungs after resveratrol treatment. These beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of resveratrol can indirectly also improve both skeletal and respiratory muscle impairment in COPD. Recent clinical studies in non-COPD populations show improved mitochondrial oxidative metabolism after resveratrol treatment, which could be beneficial for both lung and muscle impairment in COPD. Moreover, preclinical studies suggest cardioprotective effects of resveratrol but results of clinical studies are inconclusive.


Resveratrol might be an interesting therapeutic candidate to counteract lung and muscle impairments characteristic to COPD. However, there is no convincing evidence that resveratrol will significantly decrease the cardiovascular risk in patients with COPD.

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