A recent study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology explored the potential of resveratrol supplementation for treating ulcerative colitis (UC).

The findings provide encouraging evidence that this natural compound may help reduce inflammation associated with the condition.  



Background on Ulcerative Colitis
Current Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis
Role of Diet in Ulcerative Colitis Management
Alcohol and Ulcerative Colitis
Resveratrol and Its Health Benefits
The Resveratrol Research
Resveratrol may be one of the best supplements for ulcerative colitis
Natural Approaches to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

10 minute read

Background on Ulcerative Colitis  

a woman holding her stomach in pain

Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the colon and rectum.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool and weight loss. Current medications aim to induce andmaintain remission, but many patients do not respond adequately. 

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unclear, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. The immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the colon, leading to chronic inflammation and the formation of ulcers. This condition significantly impacts the digestive system, causing disruptions in nutrient absorption, bowel movements, and overall gastrointestinal function.


Current Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis

Medical treatments for ulcerative colitis aim to control inflammation, relieve symptoms, and induce and maintain periods of remission. It’s important to note that treatment plans may vary based on the severity of the condition and individual patient responses. 

Common medical treatments for ulcerative colitis:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: These medications, such as mesalamine and sulfasalazine, work to reduce inflammation in the colon.
  • Corticosteroids: These drugs may be used to quickly reduce inflammation during flare-ups, but their long-term use is generally avoided due to potential side effects.
  • Immunosuppressants: Azathioprine, Mercaptopurine: These drugs suppress the immune system to reduce inflammation and help maintain remission.
  • Biologics: Biologic medications target specific pathways in the immune system and are often used for moderate to severe cases.
  • JAK Inhibitors:This oral medication works by targeting certain enzymes involved in the inflammatory process.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to manage infections and complications associated with ulcerative colitis.
  • Supportive Therapies: Medications like loperamide [anti-diarrheal medications] can help control diarrhea.
  • Pain Reliever: Acetaminophen is typically recommended, as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can worsen symptoms.
  • Iron Supplements: Addressing anemia caused by chronic bleeding.
  • Stem Cell Transplantation: Experimental and used in severe cases, this involves replacing damaged immune cells with healthy ones.
  • Surgery: In cases of severe disease or complications, surgical removal of the colon (colectomy) may be considered. This is often a last resort when other treatments are ineffective.


Common lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes play a crucial role in managing ulcerative colitis and improving overall well-being. It’s important to note that individual responses may vary, and consulting with healthcare professionals is essential for personalized advice.

Here are some generally recommended lifestyle changes for individuals with ulcerative colitis:

1 – Dietary Modifications: Minimize fiber intake during flare-ups to reduce bowel irritation | Keep a food diary to identify and avoid foods that trigger symptoms | Eating smaller, more frequent meals may help manage symptoms.

2 – Hydration: Stay well-hydrated to prevent dehydration, especially during diarrhea episodes.

3 – Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Reduce or avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration and irritate the digestive tract.

4 – Smoking Cessation: If applicable, quitting smoking is highly recommended, as smoking can worsen the course of ulcerative colitis.

5 – Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and support overall health.

6 – Stress Management: Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or mindfulness to help manage stress, which can trigger flare-ups.

7 – Adequate Sleep: Prioritize getting sufficient and quality sleep to support overall health and immune function.

8 – Medication Adherence: Take prescribed medications consistently and as directed by healthcare providers.

9 – Regular Monitoring: Regularly follow up with healthcare providers for monitoring and adjustments to the treatment plan.

10 – Hygiene Practices: Maintain good hygiene practices, especially during flare-ups, to prevent skin irritation and infections.

11 – Supplements: Some individuals may benefit from specific supplements, such as iron or vitamin D, based on individual needs and deficiencies.

Role of Diet in Ulcerative Colitis Management

Diet is a critical component in the management of ulcerative colitis due to its direct impact on symptom control, inflammation reduction, and overall well-being. 


Identifying trigger foods

Individuals with ulcerative colitis often experience flare-ups triggered by specific foods. Identifying and avoiding these trigger foods, along with adopting a personalized dietary plan, helps manage symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and discomfort. Furthermore, a carefully crafted diet plays a key role in ensuring adequate nutrient intake, as the condition may affect nutrient absorption in the digestive tract.

Anti-inflammatory foods

A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, can contribute to reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, promoting healing, and preventing complications. 

Balancing fiber intake

Balancing fiber intake is crucial; during flare-ups, a low-residue or low-fiber diet may be recommended to minimize irritation. 

Healthy weight management

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential, as chronic inflammation, medication side effects, and digestive challenges can impact weight. The psychological aspect of diet should not be overlooked, as managing symptoms and fostering a healthy relationship with food positively influences mental and emotional well-being, including stress levels that may impact ulcerative colitis symptoms. Overall, a personalized and well-managed diet, guided by healthcare professionals, is instrumental in improving quality of life for individuals with ulcerative colitis.

Alcohol and Ulcerative Colitis 

Alcohol and ulcerative colitis has always been a topic of debate when it comes to its impact on various health conditions. In the case of ulcerative colitis; many questions arise: Can you drink alcohol with ulcerative colitis? Can you drink wine with ulcerative colitis? Can alcohol cause ulcerative colitis? Beer and ulcerative colitis, can you have it? Is there a “best” alcohol to drink with ulcerative colitis?

To answer these questions, we need to delve deeper into the relationship between alcohol and this condition.

When it comes to alcohol and ulcerative colitis, there are several factors to consider. 


Alcohol is known to irritate the gastrointestinal tract, leading to increased inflammation. For individuals with ulcerative colitis, who already have inflamed and sensitive intestines, this can exacerbate symptoms and trigger flare-ups. Therefore, it is generally recommended to limit or avoid alcohol consumption to maintain optimal gut health.


Alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning it increases urine production and can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis, as it can cause electrolyte imbalances and further irritate the digestive system. Staying adequately hydrated is crucial for managing this condition, and alcohol can hinder this goal.


Alcohol is known to interfere with the absorption of certain medications used to treat ulcerative colitis. This can reduce the effectiveness of these medications and hinder the management of the condition.

It is worth mentioning that moderation is key when considering alcohol consumption for individuals with ulcerative colitis. While complete abstinence is recommended by some healthcare providers, others may suggest occasional and limited alcohol intake. Ultimately, the decision should be made based on individual circumstances, severity of symptoms, and consultation with a healthcare professional.

Resveratrol and Its Health Benefits dark_chocolate_on_table

Resveratrol is a natural compound found in various plant sources, most notably in red grapes and red wine, as well as in berries, peanuts, and dark chocolate. 

This polyphenol has gained attention for its potential health benefits attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

As an antioxidant, resveratrol helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, protecting cells from oxidative stress and damage. 

Additionally, resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory properties are thought to be linked to its ability to regulate various cellular processes and signaling pathways involved in inflammation. It may help reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and support a more balanced immune response.


The Resveratrol Research 

In this study, researchers from Monash University tested resveratrol using a mouse model of experimental colitis. Mice were given resveratrol either before or after inducing colitis to test its preventative and treatment effects. 

Key findings: 

  • Resveratrol pretreatment significantly reduced weight loss, colon shortening and injury compared to unhealthy controls. 
  • When given post-colitis induction, resveratrol markedly decreased inflammation, repaired colon tissue damage and promoted mucosal healing.
  • It worked by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress while boosting antioxidant defenses in the colon. 


Resveratrol may be one of the best supplements for ulcerative colitis 

The results suggest resveratrol holds promise as an adjunctive therapy for ulcerative colitis via its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.  

By reducing inflammation and repairing the colon mucosa, resveratrol supplementation could help induce and maintain remission in ulcerative colitis patients. It may also shorten recovery from disease flares. 

Larger clinical trials are still needed. But this preclinical research provides insights into how resveratrol’s multifaceted mechanisms could benefit ulcerative colitis management. 

Overall, the study highlights resveratrol as a potentially useful dietary/lifestyle intervention worthy of further investigation for adjunctive treatment of inflammatory bowel conditions. 


Natural Approaches to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive tract, particularly in the colon and rectum. Various natural compounds and approaches have shown promise in managing inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), offering a broader perspective on complementary therapies. 

In addition to resveratrol, the following may also have potential as best supplements for ulcerative colitis:

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil, have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate symptoms associated with IBD. 

Taking turmeric for ulcerative colitis is showing promise in reducing GI inflammation due to curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

Probiotics, beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome, have been explored as a supportive therapy for IBD, with some evidence suggesting they may help modulate the immune response and improve symptoms. 

Additionally, a well-balanced diet with emphasis on fiber-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables can contribute to overall digestive health and potentially mitigate IBD symptoms. While these approaches hold potential, it’s crucial for individuals with IBD to consult with healthcare professionals to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.



Diet plays a significant role in ulcerative colitis and many ailments on the rise today. By monitoring what we ingest we can help to manage & improve symptoms in turn allowing for increased quality of life.