A pilot clinical study of resveratrol in postmenopausal women with high body mass index: Effects on systemic sex steroid hormones

H. H.Sherry Chow, Linda L. Garland, Brandy M. Heckman-Stoddard, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Valerie D. Butler, Catherine A. Cordova, Wade M. Chew, Terri L. Cornelison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background: Breast cancer risk is partially determined by several hormone-related factors. Preclinical and clinical studies suggested that resveratrol may modulate these hormonal factors. Methods: We conducted a pilot study in postmenopausal women with high body mass index (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) to determine the clinical effect of resveratrol on systemic sex steroid hormones. Forty subjects initiated the resveratrol intervention (1 gm daily for 12 weeks) with six withdrawn early due to adverse events (AEs). Thirty-four subjects completed the intervention. Results: Resveratrol intervention did not result in significant changes in serum concentrations of estradiol, estrone, and testosterone but led to an average of 10% increase in the concentrations of sex steroid hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Resveratrol intervention resulted in an average of 73% increase in urinary 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) levels leading to a favorable change in urinary 2-OHE1/16α-OHE1 ratio. One participant had asymptomatic Grade 4 elevation of liver enzymes at the end of study intervention. Two subjects had Grade 3 skin rashes. The remaining adverse events were Grade 1 or 2 events. The most common adverse events were diarrhea and increased total cholesterol, reported in 30% and 27.5% of the subjects, respectively. Conclusion: We conclude that among overweight and obese postmenopausal women, daily 1 gm dose of resveratrol has favorable effects on estrogen metabolism and SHBG. Further placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm our findings on these hormone-related breast cancer risk factors and the attribution of the adverse effects observed in the study population. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01370889.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number223
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 14 2014


  • High adiposity
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Resveratrol
  • Sex steroid hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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