The suggested health effects (e.g., disease prevention) of dietary bioactive compounds such as resveratrol are challenging to prove in comparison to man-made drugs developed for therapeutic purposes. Dietary bioactive compounds have multiple cellular targets and therefore have a variety of biological effects. Extrapolating the biological effects of dietary compounds from in vitro
and in vivo
animal experiments to humans may lead to over- or under-estimation of the effect and role of these compounds. The present paper will discuss a few of these challenges and suggest directions for future research. Questions we address include: (1) Is the combinatorial effect of resveratrol and other compounds real? (2) What are the real and relevant doses of resveratrol after administration? and (3) Is it possible to estimate the preventive effect of resveratrol by clinical trials using standard experimental designs? The examples concerning resveratrol taken from the scientific literature are mainly from 2010 and later. The challenges pointed out in this review are similar to most naturally occurring bioactive compounds.
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