12 January - 20 June 2016

Resveratrol and its metabolites found in the human eye after oral administration

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found mainly in grapes as well as peanuts and cranberries. The health benefits of resveratrol have been documented in previous research including it having anti-inflammatory effects and reducing oxidative stress. However studies have reported that resveratrol is rapidly metabolised in the gut and the bioavailability of resveratrol in the tissues, especially in human eyes is lacking. A study published in Journal of Ophthalmology has investigated resveratrol and its metabolites in human eyes after oral administration.

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found mainly in grapes as well as peanuts and cranberries.  The health benefits of resveratrol have been documented in previous research including it having anti-inflammatory effects and reducing oxidative stress.  However studies have reported that resveratrol is rapidly metabolised in the gut and the bioavailability of resveratrol in the tissues, especially in human eyes is lacking. 

A study published in Journal of Ophthalmology has investigated resveratrol and its metabolites in human eyes after oral administration.  The study by Wang et al. recruited participants (20 men and 15 women – total of 35 eyes) who were undergoing a pars plana vitrectomy with retinal detachment repair. Prior to admission the participants were told to avoid consumption of coffee, tea, or cocoa-containing foods during the study, as well as foods high in resveratrol until discharge.  Prior to tissue collection the participants were given one capsule orally daily for a total of three doses.  The capsules contained 100mg of trans-resveratrol (purity 85-92%), 25mg quercetin, 75mg rice bran, vitamin D3 (1000 IU), and 10 mg nucleotides. 

Two to four hours after the final dose, surgery was performed, where conjunctivas, aqueous humor and vitreous humor were collected. Venous blood was also collected from three of the participants.  Using HPLC/MS/MS analysis with authentic reference material, the scientists recovered resveratrol and its metabolites from the human eye tissue.   

Wang et al state “In most of the tissues, concentrations of resveratrol’s metabolic conjugates were higher than those of the parent resveratrol.”  Resveratrol and its metabolites was detected in 25 eyes however the concentration varied in each individual.  The mean tissue concentration detected for resveratrol metabolites were 2.32± 2.00 nmols/g for resveratrol-3-O-glucuronide in 8 samples, 2.12±2.09 nmol/g for resveratrol-4-O-glucuronide in 9 samples and 22.31±24.18 nmol/g for resveratrol-3-O-sulfate in 17 samples.  Detection of the parent resveratrol was low in the aqueous humor, with mean concentration of resveratrol-3-O-glucuronide, resveratrol-4-O-glucuronide, resveratrol-3-O-sulfate of 86.11±30.76 nmol/L (3 eyes), 85.17±56.73 nmol/L (4 eyes) and 364.9±523.94 nmol/L (7 eyes) respectively.  Only resveratrol-3-O-sulfate could be found in the vitreous humor at a mean concentration of 62.95±41.97 nmol/L (6 eyes).  On analysis of the blood samples the scientists found that resveratrol and its metabolites were at “quantifiable concentrations”.

In discussion Wang et al. reiterate their findings noting that their study is the first to detect resveratrol and its metabolites in the eyes, stating that it could be detected in at least the conjunctiva of 25 eyes.  The parent resveratrol could be quantified only in the conjunctiva.  The authors report that previous studies have found that resveratrol “could activate telomerases at a concentration of 10-8 M” and that 0.1 nM could activate the “PTEN protein to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells.” Few studies have detected the concentration of resveratrol in human tissues, however some have reported to finding resveratrol in the bile, stomach, liver and kidneys.  Wang et al state that “resveratrol has a short half-life of approx. 8-14 mins in the body and then it is widely metabolised”. Resveratrol-3-O-sulfate was the main form found in the tissue, which has been reported in a previous study to have “showed a beneficial potential for attenuating inflammatory immune processes.”    The authors conclude by stating that “we hope that our results, measuring resveratrol levels and its metabolites in the human eye, will help define doses that may be used in future treatment in the prevention of ocular disease.”

RSSL is happy to discuss the analysis of resveratrol with clients. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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