New Research Shows Resveratrol Boosts Metabolism in Obese Men

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Resveratrol is one our favorite antioxidants for many reasons and we’ve been writing about its range of health benefits for quite some time now. In early studies, it appeared to prolong the life of mice and also to reverse some of the damage caused by obesity.

Today, new research shows that resveratrol is beneficial in obese humans too.1 This is a big step forward — from mice to men, literally. Although this particular study — the first clinical trial of resveratrol published in a peer-reviewed journal — was too short to show an effect on human life span, it did duplicate many of the same metabolic effects that were seen in earlier studies on mice.

The effects noted are similar to those yielded from severe calorie restriction, which has also been shown to improve metabolism and prolong life in mammals. Below, we’ll take a look at the recent study’s specific findings.

Resveratrol Improves Multiple Biomarkers of Health

In the study, the researchers recruited 11 obese men to a randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial. The men took either a placebo or 150 mg of resveratrol once per day for 30 days. After a 4-week washout period, they switched and took the other treatment option for the next 30 days.

Specific metabolic biomarkers were measured each week during the study. Here is a synopsis of the study’s findings in the resveratrol group:

  • The average systolic blood pressure was significantly lower.
  • Triglycerides (fat in the blood) were significantly lower.
  • It took longer for blood sugar to peak in the resveratrol group. They also had lower glucose and insulin blood levels. All of this implies improved insulin sensitivity.
  • Markers of systemic inflammation were lower for the resveratrol group.
Now here’s an interesting finding that may at first seem to contradict the positive effects highlighted in the study: Resting and after-meal metabolic rates (energy expenditure) were reduced in the resveratrol group.

You would think that energy expenditure would increase, not decrease with resveratrol. But the researchers actually conclude that this is a positive finding. The authors believe that this seemingly contradictory finding is actually consistent with endurance training and calorie restriction diets.

The Form and Dose of Resveratrol Matter

Resveratrol is found in two natural forms: cis and trans. We’ve been promoting the use of trans-resveratrol in supplements for several years now, and this study helps confirm our position that it’s the better form. Why? Because the researchers also used trans-resveratrol to achieve their positive results.

Resveratrol dosing has been another big debate in the industry. We formulated our most recent resveratrol products at the higher end of the dose range (250 mg per day), which is higher than many other products on the market.

The study, once again, supports our position that higher doses are better — they used 150 mg in the study. The next question is this: If they had gone even a little bit higher, would the results have been even better? Potentially.

What are the Top Food Sources of Resveratrol?

Although red wine is a top well-known source of resveratrol, it’s not really the wine itself that packs the power — it’s actually the skin of the red grape. Here’s a brief list of other foods that are also rich in resveratrol.2

  • Dark Berries
  • Peanuts (with skin)
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Buckwheat

Further Reading on Restoring a Youthful Metabolism

We’ve published quite a few articles highlighting safe and natural ways to boost your metabolism. These are a must read if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight as you age. Click the link below for each article and consider having a pen and paper handy. You may want to take some notes.



Are you considering adding resveratrol to your own regimen? Please let us know what you think!

References

  1. Cell Metabolism. 2011 Nov 2;14(5):612-622.
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089

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