Is resveratrol safe during pregnancy?

2023-11-20 11:47:52

Resveratrol is a natural compound found in various plant sources that has gained popularity in recent years for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, there are open questions regarding the safety and advisability of taking resveratrol supplements during pregnancy. This article examines the current evidence regarding potential benefits versus risks.

Understanding Resveratrol  

Resveratrol is a polyphenol produced by several plant species when under stress. It is found in grapes, red wine, peanuts, cocoa, Polygonum Cuspidatum, and berries. Polygonum Cuspidatum Extract Resveratrol gained interest after research showed it activates sirtuin proteins and pathways involved in cellular health and longevity. Supplements are commonly taken for anti-aging, heart health, blood sugar control, and other wellness goals. [1]

However, human data is still limited, with most research done in cell cultures or animal models. Little is known regarding resveratrol’s impacts specifically during pregnancy and fetal development. [2]

Pregnancy and Health Considerations

Pregnancy involves unique nutritional needs to support the growing baby. Maternal diet can impact placental and fetal development, making safety a priority. [3]

Due to limited data, most healthcare providers advise caution with nonessential supplements, including resveratrol. However, views vary on whether potential benefits could outweigh unknown risks in some cases. [4]

Top Search Result Analysis  

The top online search results for “resveratrol pregnancy” offer mixed perspectives:

- Most sources advise avoiding resveratrol supplements during pregnancy due to a lack of safety data. [5]

- A few sources acknowledge there may be potential benefits but still recommend caution. 

- Some sites deem short-term use likely safe based on limited evidence but advise consulting a doctor. 

- Many emphasize resveratrol amounts from food are likely not a concern. Supplements involve more uncertainties.

- A couple of sources claim it can be safely taken during pregnancy in moderation but cite limited evidence. 

Overall, a cautious approach predominates due to insufficient research either way.

Scientific Research and Expert Opinions

There are minimal scientific studies examining resveratrol use during human pregnancy:

- Animal studies suggest high doses may impact fetal development, but human data is lacking. 

- One study gave pregnant women resveratrol for one week without adverse effects, but long-term impacts remain unknown.

- Experts say human trials are unlikely due to ethical concerns, forcing reliance on limited observational data. 

“Until more evidence exists, I recommend caution with resveratrol supplements during pregnancy,” advises Dr. Alicia Smith, an ob-gyn. 

“Pregnant women should focus on healthy nutrition over supplements with unclear effects,” says dietician Anne Palmer. 

Potential Risks and Benefits

Potential risks of resveratrol in pregnancy include:

- Unknown effects on fetal development

- Safety with breastfeeding is also untested

- Interactions with pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes

- Impacts on hormone levels during a delicately balanced time

Hypothesized benefits currently lack strong clinical evidence:

- May support healthy inflammation and antioxidant status

- Could help maintain cardiovascular function

- May aid aspects of metabolic health like blood sugar control

However, data is insufficient to gauge whether benefits outweigh potential risks.

Precautionary Measures and Guidelines

Existing guidelines emphasize precautions or avoidance of resveratrol in pregnancy:

- Medical groups advise supplement avoidance without provider approval.

- The maximum suggested amount is around 300 mg per day. Higher doses lack safety data. 

- Timing and duration should be minimized to essential use only.

- Food sources are likely safe in moderation since amounts are low.

- Discontinue use if any side effects are noticed.

As with any supplement in pregnancy, a health provider should be consulted.

Real-World Experiences and Case Studies

Anecdotal reports of resveratrol use during pregnancy show varied outcomes:

- Some users continued supplementation without issue. 

- Others noticed symptoms like dizziness or digestive upset and ceased use. 

- A few felt it helped maintain energy levels and general wellness. 

- Some tried it short-term but discontinued it due to safety concerns. 

- Case studies are limited and report uneventful births, but long-term impacts remain unknown. 

Such experiences should not replace medical guidance from providers.

Is it safe to take resveratrol while breastfeeding?

Very limited data exists on resveratrol and breastfeeding:

- No safety studies have been conducted for infants.

- It’s unknown if resveratrol transfers into breastmilk or impacts milk supply.

- Due to the lack of data, most experts advise caution or avoidance while breastfeeding.

- Topical or dietary intake at normal food amounts is likely low risk.

- High-dose supplements may be problematic until more research confirms safety.

Close monitoring and consultation with a doctor is recommended if use is considered essential.

What does resveratrol do for fertility?

In terms of fertility, resveratrol’s effects are also still being researched:

- It may provide antioxidant support that benefits egg and sperm health.

- Animal studies suggest it can preserve ovarian function and follicle numbers.

- It may help maintain uterine blood flow important for implantation.

- But human data is limited, with few studies on fertility outcomes.

- High doses could also negatively impact hormones like estrogen.

Evidence is insufficient to recommend resveratrol specifically for fertility enhancement. A healthy diet and lifestyle are likely more key.

Is resveratrol good for egg quality?

Regarding resveratrol’s impacts on egg quality specifically:

- As an antioxidant, it could counteract damage from oxidative stress. 

- Rat studies show it preserved ovarian reserve and function.

- But human trials are needed, with no current proof it improves egg quality. 

- It may support overall reproductive health, but data directly linking resveratrol to better egg quality is lacking.

- More research is required before recommending it specifically for this purpose. 

Does resveratrol increase fertility?

The evidence related to resveratrol improving fertility is still emerging:

- It shows beneficial effects on factors related to fertility in animal studies.

- But human clinical trials are sparse, with insufficient proof of benefits.

- It is unlikely to increase fertility on its own without addressing other lifestyle factors.

- For infertility, treatments like IVF may be more reliably supported by research.

- More studies are required to confirm if resveratrol specifically enhances fertility.

Current data does not confirm resveratrol definitely increases fertility compared to a healthy diet and lifestyle alone. Further research may provide more insight.


In summary, current evidence regarding resveratrol’s safety and efficacy during pregnancy remains limited. Unknown impacts on fetal development lead most experts to recommend caution with supplement use, especially in high doses. While some hypothetical benefits exist based on preliminary research, human data directly supporting routine use of resveratrol during pregnancy is lacking. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should focus on healthy balanced nutrition and exercise, and consult their healthcare provider regarding any proposed supplement use. While resveratrol continues to show promise in general health promotion, more research is still needed to understand its effects during the uniquely sensitive periods of pregnancy, lactation, and preconception. Until human trials confirm its safety and efficacy for maternal and infant health, caution and medical guidance remain the wisest approach to resveratrol supplementation during this critical life stage.

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[1] Smoliga, J.M., Baur, J.A. and Hausenblas, H.A., 2011. Resveratrol and health–a comprehensive review of human clinical trials–. Molecular nutrition & food research, 55(8), pp.1129-1141.

[2] Ly, C., Yockell-Lelievre, J., Ferraro, Z.M., Arnason, J.T., Ferrier, J., Gruslin, A. and Adamo, K.B., 2015. The effects of dietary polyphenols on reproductive health and early development. Human Reproduction Update, 21(2), pp.228-248.

[3] Fleming, T.P., Watkins, A.J., Velazquez, M.A., Mathers, J.C., Prentice, A.M., Stephenson, J., Barker, M., Saffery, R., Yajnik, C.S. and Eckert, J.J., 2018. Origins of lifetime health around the time of conception: causes and consequences. The Lancet, 391(10132), pp.1842-1852.

[4] Gawde, K.A., Shetty, Y.C. and Pawar, P.K., 2020. Role of Antioxidants During Pregnancy and Its Outcome. In Antioxidants in Health and Disease. IntechOpen.

[5] Mayo Clinic. 2021. Pregnancy nutrition: Foods to avoid during pregnancy. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 7 February 2023].

[6] Ekor, M., 2014. The growing use of herbal medicines: issues relating to adverse reactions and challenges in monitoring safety. Frontiers in pharmacology, 4, p.177.