Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) is a polyphenolic phytoalexin. It is a stilbenoid, a derivate of stilbene, and is produced in plants with the help of the enzyme stilbene synthase. It exists as two structural isomers: cis-(Z) and trans-(E), with the trans-isomer shown in the top image. The trans- form can undergo isomerisation to the cis- form when heated or exposed to ultraviolet irradiation. In a 2004 issue of Science, Dr. Sinclair of Harvard University said resveratrol is not an easy molecule to protect from oxidation. It has been claimed that it is readily degraded by exposure to light, heat, and oxygen. However, studies find that Trans-resveratrol undergoes negligible oxidation in normal atmosphere at room temperature. [Wikipedia]
Being investigated for the treatment of Herpes labialis infections (cold sores).
Resveratrol, a phytoalexin, has been found to inhibit herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) replication in a dose-dependent, reversible manner, although this is only one of its many pharmaceutical properties. In some countries where there is higher consumption of red wine, there appears to be a lower incidence of heart disease. Other benefits of resveratrol include its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In preclinical studies, Resveratrol has been found to have potential anticancer properties.
Mechanism of action
Resveratrol suppresses NF-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation in HSV infected cells. Reports have indicated that HSV activates NF-kappaB during productive infection and this may be an essential aspect of its replication scheme [PMID: 9705914].