Resveratrol reverses metabolic damage caused by obesity, study shows

Resveratrol reverses metabolic damage caused by obesity, study shows

In what some are calling a landmark study, researchers confirm that resveratrol, in low doses, mitigates some of the damage caused by obesity and reduces some markers associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism showed that supplementing with low-dose resveratrol—150 mg per day resVida brand supplied from DSM—provided similar metabolic benefits as calorie restriction and endurance training. While that might sound like all the benefits of diet and exercise without the diet and exercise, that would miss the mark.

“If we say that RSV has calorie-restriction or exercise-like effects, we mean that the metabolism changes in the same direction as with these other interventions. But for now it seems that RSV will not lead to weight loss, although we of course only gave it for 30 days,” explained Patrick Schrauwen, lead researcher on the study.

Resveratrol—a natural polyphenolic compound found in red wine, grapes and even peanuts—produces a hormetic effect in the body in the same way as calorie restriction and endurance training, according to Bill Sardi, supplement formulator of Longevinex brand resveratrol-based supplement. Hormesis is when a stressor is introduced in the body, causing the body’s natural defenses to kick into action, producing a beneficial outcome.

In the case of UV rays, the body produces vitamin D. In the case of resveratrol, “Many of the parameters that determine metabolic health—like blood pressure, blood glucose and insulin levels, and the amount of fat in your liver—all improved,” explained Schrauwen. “Normally, high glucose, insulin and liver fat levels are risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so a decrease in these values is a good thing.”

The first clinical trial of its kind, this research reveals that resveratrol delivers broad health benefits rather than narrowly targeting one issue. “This is where natural medicine is going to turn the corner,” said Sardi. This study showed that resveratrol differentiated more than 400 genes. “You can’t do this with any drug out there,” said Sardi. “Here you have a natural molecule; it’s small and influences hundreds of genes and helps many diseases in one pill. Now you don’t need a pill for everything. This is the paradigm-changing shift in modern medicine.”

Currently resveratrol is available in capsules and, of course, red wine though not in the same concentrations as seen in the study. Schrauwen speculated that as more studies come out with equally positive results, and as science investigates the long-term effects of resveratrol, it could also be added to food supplements and food products. 

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