Resveratrol and osteoarthritis

Marion Hauser Resveratrol and osteoarthritisMarion Hauser, MS, RD

University researchers in China publishing in Molecular medicine reports had a lot of good things to say about Resveratrol. This article, after a brief introduction will focus on Resveratrol’s role in osteoarthritis. Resveratrol, in simple terms it is a chemical compound found in some plants that acts as the plant’s super antioxidant protector from oxidative stress and infections.

Do you have questions about obesity and osteoarthritis? You can get help and information from our Caring Medical staff.

Let’s refresh on some quick science.

Resveratrol has been studied extensively for supplementation is humans. Many of you will remember that Resveratrol was first brought to the attention of the public in a series of studies and news stories in the late 1980’s surrounding the “French Paradox.” Here doctors wanted to know why there was such a low incidence rate of cardiovascular disease in the French population who regularly consumed high saturated fat diets. The answer some researchers brought forward? Red Wine. Resveratrol is found in the skins of wine grapes.

It should be noted that that theory was promoted and sponsored by wine makers and has since had numerous studies promoting and debunking the theory that red wine consumption is beneficial. However research in Resveratrol continues strong.

Foods that are rich in Resveratrol other than red wine include: Peanuts, pistachios, cranberries, strawberries, almonds, and berries.

Back to the opening research, the Chinese team wrote:

“Resveratrol. . . As a type of phytoalexin (anti-parasite substance) produced under stress in plants, it improves the plant’s resistance against pathogens and environment deterioration, and performs important functions beneficial to human health, such as anti‑cancer, anti‑oxidation, regulating blood lipid levels and prolonging life span.”

Now let’s look at what they said about osteoarthritis:

In their study, the researchers examined the effects of resveratrol in laboratory rats with osteoarthritis. They noted that Resveratrol reversed inflammatory damage and protected the rat joints from osteoarthritis damage.


  • Resveratrol significantly inhibited inhibited tumor necrosis factor‑α,
    • Tumor-Necrosis factor (TNF‑α) is cell signalling protein (cytokine), which communicates the commands to create inflammation in arthritis joint swelling. The medical thinking is if you can block TNF and other inflammatory factor production or at least inhibit it, joint swelling will be reduced and hopefully the amount of articular cartilage breakdown resulting from a toxic, over inflamed joint environment will be slowed.
  • Resveratrol significantly inhibited inhibited interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑6 and IL‑18 expression levels. These are the serum biomarkers of inflammation and cartilage degradation.
  • Decreased caspase‑3/9 activity. Caspase is responsible for damage cell breakdown. When cartilage is damaged and the body cannot heal itself, it gets rid of the damaged cartilage. The problem of osteoarthritis is that this cartilage is not replaced.
  • Resveratrol altered the inflammation messages. It sent chemical messages to stop chronic inflammation
    • Effect on nitric oxide.
      • Nitric Oxide is another of our body’s Dr. Jeykll/Mr. Hyde molecules. In a normal joint environment, nitric oxide regulates inflammation as a healing agent. In an abnormal toxic non-healing joint environment, nitric oxide production gets stuck in the  “open,” position creating chronic damaging inflammation.
    • Effect on  nuclear factor (NF)‑κB, receptor activator for nuclear factor‑κB (regulates and creates messages to begin inflammation)
  • Resveratrol cut the energy source of chemicals involved in oxidative breakdown and stress
    • oxidative stress phosphorylated‑(p)‑AMP‑activated protein kinase and sirtuin 1 protein expression were significantly suppressed
  • Resveratrol enlisted chemicals involved in providing anti-oxidant activities
    • heme oxygenase 1 (HO‑1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2‑related factor 2 (Nrf‑2) protein expression was stimulated in rats with osteoarthritis treated with resveratrol.1

That is a lot of science to get you back to the main theme that research is showing Resveratrol to be an important factor in osteoarthritis relief. I have written extensively on nutrients and osteoarthritis and have found that single nutrients do not work as well as multiple nutrients.(1)

Resveratrol and curcumin

European researchers publishing in the medical journal Springerplus noted that the combination treatment of curcumin and resveratrol produced a synergistic effect. The two nutraceuticals worked in collaboration to shut off chronic destructive inflammation.(2) Please see my article curcumin and osteoarthritis.

Resveratrol and ginger

Researchers at Appalachian State University wrote in the Nutrition Journal of the effect of resveratrol, ginger root, and curcumin in a combined supplement.(3) Please see my article Ginger and joint pain | Research says it does help.

Resveratrol in strawberries

Resveratrol is found in high concentrations in the strawberry’s seeds. Strawberries are among the foods called super anti-inflammatory, super anti-oxidant, even super antibiotic. Please see my article Strawberries improve pain and reduce inflammation in obese adults with knee osteoarthritis


1 Wei Y, Jia J, Jin X, Tong W, Tian H. Resveratrol ameliorates inflammatory damage and protects against osteoarthritis in a rat model of osteoarthritis. Molecular Medicine Reports. 2018 Jan 1;17(1):1493-8. [Google Scholar]

2 Henrotin Y, Priem F, Mobasheri A. Curcumin: a new paradigm and therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of osteoarthritis: curcumin for osteoarthritis management. Springerplus. 2013 Dec 1;2(1):56. [Google Scholar]

3 Nieman DC, Shanely RA, Luo B, Dew D, Meaney MP, Sha W. A commercialized dietary supplement alleviates joint pain in community adults: a double-blind, placebo-controlled community trial. Nutrition journal. 2013 Nov 25;12(1):154. [Google Scholar]