A new study examines if polyphenols such as resveratrol and curcumin can reduce inflammation following the consumption of a high-fat meal.

Although inflammation is part of the body’s immune response, by protecting against infection and repairing damaged tissue, prolonged inflammation can lead to a wide range of chronic diseases.  For example, studies have shown that the consumption of a high-calorie meal may induce post-meal inflammation which can contribute to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Resveratrol and curcumin are polyphenols, a class of micronutrients found in a wide variety of foods such as tea, blueberries, wine, chocolate, spinach, and beans. The amount of polyphenols in a food can vary depending on where it was grown, how it was farmed and transported, how ripe it is, and how it is prepared. Nonetheless, there is increasing evidence indicating that polyphenols contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers from Quebec investigated whether resveratrol and curcumin supplementation modulated post-meal inflammation.  Researchers recruited a total of 22 participants to participate in the study. The average age was 62 years and all participants were clinically obese with an average body mass index (BMI) of 29 kg/m2.  The participants were given supplements containing either 200 mg of resveratrol, 100 mg of curcumin, or a cellulose pill which was the control. Each participant had a blood sample taken 30 minutes prior to the consumption of one high-fat shake (75 g fat) and then again at one, two, and three hours post-meal.

This study found that resveratrol and curcumin supplementation had no impact on the post-meal inflammation response to a high-fat meal in abdominally obese older adults. This may be due to the extremely small sample size and the short study duration. The researchers state that further research is warranted.

Written by Debra A. Kellen, PhD


(1) Vors, C., Couillard, C., Paradis, M. E., Gigleux, I., Marin, J., Vohl, M. C., … & Lamarche, B. (2018). Supplementation with Resveratrol and Curcumin Does Not Affect the Inflammatory Response to a High-Fat Meal in Older Adults with Abdominal Obesity: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial. The Journal of nutrition148(3), 379-388.  doi:
(2) Canadian Institute for Health Research.  Inflammation in Chronic Disease.  Retrieved March 25, 2018

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