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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Resveratrol and vitamin D: Do they work together?

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring stilbenoid, a type of phenol, produced by several plants, most notably the skin of red grapes. Much has been written about resveratrol, not all of it true.

However, one thing seems certain, vitamin D and resveratrol interact via an unknown mechanism, probably one that has to do with the vitamin D receptor. Let’s look at some of the research that implicates resveratrol and vitamin D:

Vitamin D increases the amount of cathelicidin, a naturally occurring antibiotic. This September, researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon discovered that resveratrol and vitamin D together produce more cathelicidin than either one does alone. In many disciplines of science, this is called synergy.

Guo C, Sinnott B, Niu B, Lowry MB, Fantacone ML, Gombart AF.  Synergistic induction of human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide gene expression by vitamin D and stilbenoids. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Sep 14.

Last year, researchers in Poland discovered that resveratrol and vitamin D worked synergistically in controlling methylation in cancer, a crucial mechanism in epigenetics. Methylation in epigenetics is one of the ways the body controls which genes are expressed.

Stefanska B, Salamé P, Bednarek A, Fabianowska-Majewska K.Comparative effects of retinoic acid, vitamin D and resveratrol alone and in combination with adenosine analogues on methylation and expression of phosphatase and tensin homologue tumour suppressor gene in breast cancer cells. Br J Nutr. 2012 Mar;107(6):781-90.

It also seems that resveratrol works by mediating the response of the vitamin D receptor to activated vitamin D. Professor JoEllen Welsh’s group at Notre Dame proved this to be true. They showed that resveratrol enhanced the growth inhibitory effects of activated vitamin D in cancer.

Wietzke JA, Welsh J.  Phytoestrogen regulation of a Vitamin D3 receptor promoter and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 actions in human breast cancer cells.J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2003 Feb;84(2-3):149-57.

I am not competent to advise you to drink more red wine or take a resveratrol supplement. However, if resveratrol works by increasing the sensitivity of the vitamin D receptor to vitamin D, it may be that therapy with vitamin D will be improved by resveratrol supplementation. Future research should clarify the interaction between the two.

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.
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3 Responses to Resveratrol and vitamin D: Do they work together?

  1. Gary says:

    Epigenetic is really fascinating area of research. Its clear already that resveratrol contributes to swithing on the genes involved in the NRF2 pathway that massively activate glutathione and super oxide dismutase. Forget about the latest fad for this juice or that berry this pathway is the real deal in terms of controlling oxidative stress. Curcumin can do the same and it wouldn’t surprise me if Vit D is involved aswell.

  2. Rita and Misty says:

    Gary, did you see this back in June? It speaks to Curcumin/D.


  3. Gary says:

    Yes its interesting the interactions between these phytochemicals and Vitamin D. There are two others that are also involved in the modulation of genes. Pterostilbene (blueberries) and sulphoraphane (brocolli) appear to influence these pathways even more strongly than Resveratrol.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Vitamin D expression is also influenced by Pterostilbene and Sulphoraphane aswell.