Resveratrol, an antioxidant nutrient found in grapes, could help ward off inflammatory diseases in humans, according to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The researchers assessed the anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol in small group of 20 patients. The team gave a supplement containing the antioxidant resveratrol for six weeks, and compared them to 10 people who took a placebo.

Blood tests were conducted on the participants at the beginning of the study and after weeks one, three and six weeks.

After analysing the data, the investigators discovered that the resveratrol supplement helped remove free radicals from inflammatory compounds produced by the body. Removing these toxins lowered the resveratrol group’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cognitive degenerate disorders.

While study participants did benefit from the resveratrol supplement, other compounds may have also contributed to reducing inflammation, the researchers say.

"The product we used has only 20 percent resveratrol, so it is possible that something else in the preparation is responsible for the positive effects," says Paresh Dandona, lead author of the study, and suggests that the group will test out purer preparations available now.

Resveratrol inhibited the generation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to result in oxidative tension and release pro-inflammatory factors into the blood stream, resulting in damage to the blood vessel lining.

The blood samples also showed suppression of the inflammatory protein tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and other similar compounds that increases inflammation of the blood vessels and interferes with insulin action, causing insulin resistance and the risk of developing diabetes.

Earlier studies conducted on animals have already established the anti-oxidant benefits of using resveratrol.