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Resveratrol mimics calorie restriction's effects on metabolism in clinical trial

Resveratrol mimics calorie restriction's effects on metabolism in clinical trial

Friday, November 4, 2011. Patrick Schrauwen of Maastricht University Medical Center and his associates report in the November, 2011 issue of Cell Metabolism that men supplementing with resveratrol experienced metabolic effects similar to those observed in animal studies of calorie restriction. Resveratrol is a compound that occurs in red grapes, wine and other plant foods. The current trial is the first to evaluate resveratrol's metabolic effects in humans.

In a randomized, crossover study, eleven healthy, obese men received a placebo and 150 milligrams trans-resveratrol for 30 days each. The treatment periods were separated by 30 day wash-out periods. Body mass index, whole-body energy expenditure, lipid storage, plasma markers of metabolic function and other values were measured before and after treatment.

Resveratrol supplementation was found to be associated with reduced energy expenditure and improvements in metabolism and overall health, including reductions in metabolic rate, liver fat, blood glucose and blood pressure. "We saw a lot of small effects, but consistently pointing in a good direction of improved metabolic health," stated Dr Schrauwen.

"The immediate reduction in sleep metabolic rate was particularly striking," he remarked. "Of course, in the case of obesity, it's not entirely clear whether burning fewer calories is a good or a bad thing. It does suggest that participants' cells were operating more efficiently, as they do following calorie restriction."

Dr Schrauwen noted that the current study enrolled obese adults due to their high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. He hopes to test resveratrol in future trials involving diabetic patients.

"We demonstrate beneficial effects of resveratrol supplementation for 30 days on the metabolic profile in healthy obese males, which seems to reflect effects observed during calorie restriction," the authors write. "Although most of the effects that we observed were modest, they were very consistently pointing toward beneficial metabolic adaptations. Furthermore, there were no effects on safety parameters, and no adverse events were reported."

"Future studies should investigate the long-term and dose-dependent metabolic effects of resveratrol supplementation in order to further establish whether resveratrol supplementation has the potential to overcome the metabolic aberrations that are associated with obesity in humans," they conclude.

"I don't see a reason for particular caution, but we do need long-term studies," Dr Schrauwen concurred.

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Resveratrol shows preventive benefit in metabolic syndrome

Resveratrol shows preventive benefit in metabolic syndrome

The September, 2011 issue of Diabetes published the finding of researchers at the University of Alberta of a protective effect for resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes and other plant foods, against the development of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Jason Dyck of the University of Alberta's departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology and his colleagues exposed pregnant rats to a normal environment or one that was low in oxygen during the latter third of their gestational periods. (Oxygen deprivation can restrict fetal growth as well as increase the risk of metabolic syndrome later in life.) The animals' offspring were given high fat diets after weaning, and some were supplemented with resveratrol for nine weeks. Glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, abdominal fat, and triglyceride and free fatty acid levels were measured at the end of the treatment period in order to evaluate the development of metabolic syndrome.

While rats that were exposed to a hypoxic environment had more severe symptoms of metabolic syndrome compared to those that were exposed to a normal environment, animals that received resveratrol had less abdominal fat, better lipid levels, lower peripheral triglyceride levels, and improvements in insulin resistance and glucose tolerance compared to those that did not receive the compound.

"There is a concept that in utero, there are genetic shifts that are occurring – reprogramming is occurring because of this strenuous environment babies are in, that allows them to recover very quickly after birth," Dr Dyck explained. "When babies are growth-restricted, they usually have a catch-up period after they are born where they catch up to non-growth-restricted groups. It might be that reprogramming that creates this kind of 'thrifty' phenotype, where they want to consume and store and get caught up. That reprogramming appears to make them more vulnerable to developing a host of metabolic problems."

Life Extension Magazine® November, 2011 Issue Now Online!

Life Extension Magazine November, 2011

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