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June 25, 2010

Resveratrol supplementation reduces weight gain in primate

Resveratrol supplementation reduces weight gain in primate

In an article published online on June 22, 2010 in the journal BMC Physiology, Fabienne Aujard and Alexandre Dal-Pan of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, along with Stéphane Blanc of the Université de Strasbourg, report that resveratrol reduces seasonal body-mass gain in a primate model of weight gain. Resveratrol, which is found in red grapes and other plant foods, had been demonstrated to protect rodents from diabetes and obesity caused by a high-fat diet; however, the compound's effects on weight loss had not been studied in higher animals.

Dr Aujard and her associates tested the effect of four weeks of resveratrol supplementation in grey mouse lemurs. These animals gain a significant amount of weight during the winter months by entering a daily state of inactivity (torpor) accompanied by a reduction in body temperature in order to conserve energy.

Supplementation with resveratrol reduced the animals' seasonal weight gain by decreasing calorie intake by 13%, inhibiting the depth of daily torpor, and increasing resting metabolic rate by 29%. While a hormone which promotes the mobilization of fat stores (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) increased, no other significant changes in satiety hormone levels were noted.

"The physiological benefits of resveratrol are currently under intensive investigation, with recent work suggesting that it could be a good candidate for the development of obesity therapies," Dr Aujard commented. "We've found that lemurs eating a diet supplemented with the compound decreased their energy intake by 13% and increased their resting metabolic rate by 29%. These results provide novel information on the potential effects of resveratrol on energy metabolism and control of body mass in a primate."

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Health Concern Life Extension Highlight

Obesity

There has been a great deal of misunderstanding about the connection between thyroid hormone and weight loss. Produced in the thyroid gland, thyroid hormone is the master metabolic control mechanism. A lack of thyroid hormone (a condition called hypothyroidism) is connected to weight gain, as well as dry hair and skin, fatigue, and sluggishness. Overweight people may want to check their thyroid levels to make sure they aren't lacking thyroid hormone. If they are, a physician may prescribe thyroid hormones to correct the condition. In the 1960s and 1970s, the connection between hypothyroidism and weight gain caused some people to assume they could speed up their metabolism and lose weight by using supplemental thyroid hormones. This led to an abuse of thyroid hormone as people created an artificial state of excess thyroid hormone (a condition medically known as hyperthyroidism). Hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss as well as irregular heartbeats, sweating, and tremors. Although people taking supplemental thyroid hormones may have lost weight, they were losing lean muscle mass in addition to undesirable body fat (Braunwald et al 2001).

Today our understanding of the relationship between thyroid hormone and weight loss is more complete. It works like this: when calorie intake is drastically reduced, the activity of an enzyme called 5'-monodeiodinase is reduced; 5'-monodeiodinase is necessary to convert the thyroid hormone T4 into T3. As a result, the levels of T3 drop (Merimee et al 1976; Carlson et al 1977; Beer et al 1989; Wadden et al 1990). T3 is the stronger form of thyroid hormone.

The LE weight loss plan begins with comprehensive blood testing to help determine which hormones are low and whether thyroid function needs to be supported. In the past, many people have found it difficult to obtain proper hormone blood tests and a cooperative physician to work with. A new program makes this both simple and cost-effective. You can order the suggested hormone profile blood tests over the telephone, (800) 208-3444, or on a special website (www.lef.org/blood). You will also have an opportunity to speak directly with a knowledgeable health advisor over the phone. You will be sent filled-in paperwork that will enable you to go to a convenient blood-drawing station in your area. After your blood is tested, the results will be mailed to you.

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