Ulcerative colitis is a nonspecific inflammatory disorder characterised by oxidative and nitrosative stress, leucocyte infiltration and upregulation of inflammatory mediators. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound found in grapes and wine, with multiple pharmacological actions, mainly anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour and immunomodulatory activities.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a recognised as a chronic pathology by uncontrolled inflammation of the intestinal mucosa which can affect part of the gastrointestinal tract, with causes including genetic factors, immune deregulation, barrier dysfunction, and a loss of immune tolerance toward the enteric flora.
Recent studies looking at the benefits of Resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, and protection against Alzheimer’s.
In this paper mice were provoked to develop acute and then chronic inflammation of the gut, with one group having a standard diet and the other receiving the equivalent of Resveratrol enriched foods providing 3mg per kg.
Just three weeks later the Resveratrol group demonstrated a reduction in clinical signs and increased IL-10 whilst diminishing the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α providing a potential novel application for Resveratrol. An earlier study had also noted that Resveratrol reduces the damage in chronic experimentally induced colitis, alleviates the oxidative events, returns PGE2 production to basal levels and stimulates apoptosis in colonic cells making it a potential novel treatment for IBD.
Curcumin and Resveratrol are naturally occurring compounds that are attracting international research interest due to their low side effects and clinical opportunities for the management of gastrointestinal inflammation.
The availability of Curcumin is compromised by gastrointestinal absorption. The use of piperine a black pepper extract has been shown to increase absorption by 3000% and also aid many other nutrient uptakes across the gut wall. Piperine has also shown anti-inflammatory benefits of its own.
The combined use of Resveratrol, piperine and Curcumin may represent a synergistic strategy.
Resveratrol is best taken in its in its trans-resveratrol form as the few human studies conducted to date have differing outcomes, possibly due to varied levels of absorption due to differing forms being used. Resveratrol on its own is likely to have modest effects unless absorption is optimised.
 Sánchez-Fidalgo S, Cárdeno A, Villegas I, Talero E, de la Lastra CA. Dietary supplementation of resveratrol attenuates chronic colonic inflammation in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2010 May 10;633(1-3):78-84. Epub 2010 Feb View Abstract.
 Martín AR, Villegas I, Sánchez-Hidalgo M, de la Lastra CA. The effects of resveratrol, a phytoalexin derived from red wines, on chronic inflammation induced in an experimentally induced colitis model. Br J Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;147(8):873-85. View Full Paper
 Camacho-Barquero L, Villegas I, Sánchez-Calvo JM, Talero E, Sánchez-Fidalgo S, Motilva V, Alarcón de la Lastra C. Curcumin, a Curcuma longa constituent, acts on MAPK p38 pathway modulating COX-2 and iNOS expression in chronic experimental colitis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Mar;7(3):333-42. Epub 2006 Dec 18. View Abstract
 Majumdar AP, Banerjee S, Nautiyal J, Patel BB, Patel V, Du J, Yu Y, Elliott AA, Levi E, Sarkar FH. Curcumin synergizes with resveratrol to inhibit colon cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(4):544-53. View Abstract
 Raghavendra RH, Naidu KA. Spice active principles as the inhibitors of human platelet aggregation and thromboxane biosynthesis. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2009 Jul;81(1):73-8. Epub 2009 Jun 6. View Abstract