Resveratrol Antioxidant Improves Metabolism in Obese Men
Animal studies have eluded to the positive health benefits that resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in the skin of red grapes, have in humans such as improving insulin resistance which protects against the development of Type 2 diabetes. A small, but very promising, study shows that the natural compound may help improve the metabolism in obese men as much as if they were on a strict low-calorie diet.
Patrick Schrauwen and a team from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands gave 150 milligrams of 99% pure resveratrol to 11 obese, but otherwise healthy, men for 30 days. The trade name for the supplement used is resVida by DSM Nutritional Products.
The men experienced beneficial changes such as reduced fat in the liver, lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar. They also had changes in the way their muscles burned fat, suggesting the cells were functioning more efficiently.
Researchers had noted a similar effect to metabolism before in animals, “influencing gene expression in a manner closely resembling that of calorie restriction,” noted Dr. David L Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University of Medicine. Cutting calories by up to 50% has been associated with a reduced risk of age-related diseases and promotion of longevity.
While resveratrol is readily available in foods, such as grapes and red wine, unfortunately the amount used in the study that showed positive health benefits would be the equivalent of drinking over two gallons of wine per day. Studies would still need to evaluate the long-term effects of supplementation, but on the positive side – taking resveratrol as a dietary supplement did not result in any noted serious side effects.
Dr. Katz, not involved with the study, said “I rarely get excited by any one research paper. I am excited about this one. For now, we have the first clear evidence that a natural compound can exert the same profound effects on metabolism, weight and genes in humans.”
Dr Schrauwe said, “This is very positive news. We need further studies, but I would advise people to use resveratrol.”
The research was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.