Researchers challenge study that resveratrol lessens exercise benefits for the heart
Earlier this year EmaxHealth and hundreds other media outlets published results of findings that the ingredient in red wine, resveratrol, might undo or lessen exercise benefits in older adults. But now two independent researchers say no such conclusion could be drawn from the study.
The original study, published July, 2013 in the Journal of Physiology and conducted by the University of Copenhagen suggested resveratrol supplements could increase the risk of heart disease.
On October 15, 2013, James M. Smoliga, an Associate Professor with High Point University. and Otis L. Blanchard, a private researcher and President and CTO of Wilmore Labs LLC wrote an editorial; highlighting flaws of the study.
Blanchard and Smoliga reviewed the study, saying the conclusions were “incorrect”.
In a press release, Blanchard writes: “It’s a great example of how the scientific process continues after a study is published, and it’s a great thing when more researchers get to see a study.”
The original study authors stated: “Resveratrol supplementation was found to reduce the positive effect of exercise training on blood pressure, blood cholesterol and maximal oxygen uptake and did not affect the retardation of atherosclerosis,” in addition to claiming to be the first study to demonstrate negative cardiovascular benefits of the antioxidant.
Past studies have shown resveratrol has benefits for diabetes and heart health.
After reviewing the study Blanchard and Smoliga determined the difference between the two groups used in the Copenhagen study that were given either resveratrol supplements or placebo were too small to be significant, making the study authors conclusion incorrect.
“Importantly, there were no post-training differences between groups for most of these, and it is not appropriate to interpret such results as statistical differences between groups, “the researchers wrote.
Of the two tests that were performed, one was positive and one was negative, leading Blanchard to say the published finding was the result of “freshman statistics”.
Smoliga points out that atherosclerosis is measured with specific procedures that were not performed in the study, meaning no conclusions could be drawn. The study gained wide attention because of the popularity of resveratrol. Based on a new review of the findings, resveratrol does not appear to pose any risks for heart health.
James M. Smoliga and Otis L. Blanchard.
“Recent data do not provide evidence that resveratrol causes ‘mainly negative’ or ‘adverse’ effects on exercise training in humans.”