Resveratrol Supports Healthy Ageing in Postmenopausal Women by Improving Cognitive Function and Reducing Joint Pain
Comment by Ernesto Simon, Commercial Technical Director at Evolva
The recent August number of the Menopause journal has published the results of a clinical study lead by Dr. R. Wong and Prof. P. Howe and conducted at the University of Newcastle, Australia1. This randomized, double-blind study investigated the effect of resveratrol in different conditions related to menopause, including pain, sleep quality, menopausal symptoms, depressive symptoms, mood states, and general quality of life, as well as in cerebrovascular function, also known to decline with age. The study included 80 healthy, slightly overweight postmenopausal women given a relatively modest dose of 75 mg of resveratrol or a placebo twice daily during 14 weeks. The results presented show that though supplementation with resveratrol did not have a significant impact on sleep quality, menopausal or depressive symptoms over these 14 weeks, the supplementation led to 1) a significant reduction in pain, 2) a clear trend in improved mood and 3) an improvement in total well-being. Importantly, the benefits of resveratrol supplementation on overall pain, quality of life and total well-being correlated with an increase in cerebrovascular perfusion–measured as cerebrovascular responsiveness to hypercapnia (i.e., the ability of blood vessels to respond to an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood).
The authors speculated that the reduction of the joint pain may be due to the increased blood flow in the affected subchondral bone, just below the cartilage, as the consequent improved nutrient exchange to the affected joint and to promote healing. Alternatively, they also hypothesize that the elevation of mood resulting from an increased cerebrovascular perfusion could offset the perception of pain. Also, after observing a correlation between the increase in cerebrovascular responsiveness and higher quality of life scores, the authors suggested that the enhancement on circulatory function may have indirect benefits on self-reported physical and mental capacity.
The authors concluded that “Our preliminary findings indicate potential for resveratrol treatment to reduce chronic pain in age related osteoarthritis”. And, furthermore: “Resveratrol consumption may also boost perceptions of well-being in postmenopausal women”.
Furthermore, the same authors had reported previously that the increase in cerebrovascular function that followed the supplementation with resveratrol also correlated with an enhancement of cognitive performance.2 There, the authors stated that “These results indicate that regular consumption of a modest dose of resveratrol can enhance both cerebrovascular function and cognition in post-menopausal women, potentially reducing their heightened risk of accelerated cognitive decline and offering a promising therapeutic treatment for menopause-related cognitive decline”.
- Wong, R., Evans, H. & Howe, P. Resveratrol supplementation reduces pain experience by postmenopausal women. Menopause 24, 916–922 (2017). Click to download PDF
- Evans, H. M., Howe, P. R. C. & Wong, R. H. X. Effects of resveratrol on cognitive performance, mood and cerebrovascular function in post-menopausal women; a 14-week randomised placebo-controlled intervention trial. Nutrients 9, doi:10.3390/nu9010027 (2017). Click to download PDF