More Healthy “Side Effects” of an Antioxidant Champ
Resveratrol is sort of Nature’s multi-tool. It offers literally dozens of health benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits I’ve told you about in the last couple of years…
• A potent antioxidant, resveratrol supports your skin’s defenses against damage from overexposure to the sun.
• It promotes retention of lean muscle and fights other effects of aging.
• Resveratrol boosts heart health.
• It may even be able to fight the effects of aging in your brain.
But it seems we’re just scratching the surface of this amazing nutritional supplement. Two new studies show resveratrol may still have plenty of undiscovered benefits.
The first study looked at 62 adults with high blood sugar and several related problems. The researchers divided them into two closely matched groups.
They gave the first group a pill to lower their blood sugar, along with an inactive placebo. The second group took the blood sugar pill plus 250 mg of resveratrol. They measured the subjects’ blood pressure and levels of certain compounds before and after the trial.
After 3 months, the groups showed quite a difference in several important measures.
The resveratrol group’s systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c – a measure of blood sugar levels – all improved significantly. They’d done far better than the placebo group.1
I’ve seen several animal studies that hinted resveratrol might be useful for promoting healthy blood sugar levels. But this is the first well-designed human study I’ve come across.
Our second recent study looks at how resveratrol works. And it shows that this nutritional supplement may promote yet another health benefit. But let’s look at a couple of “stepping-stone” studies.
Back in 2006, a group of scientists started feeding some mice a very high-calorie diet. Ordinarily, this would cause all sorts of negative changes in the mice’s bodies. And it did. The high-calorie diet triggered 153 changes in gene expression.
Then, the scientists added resveratrol to the high-calorie diet. The resveratrol at least partially blocked 144 of the 153 changes.2
A 2010 study looked at resveratrol’s effect on primates. This study used small lemurs, which are much closer to humans than mice.
Like many other animals, the lemurs eat lots of food during the growing season. This gives them fat reserves they can live on during the months food is scarce. They also become less active during these months, which helps them save energy.
But when the researchers gave them resveratrol, everything changed. A hormone that triggers fat-burning suddenly became more active. The lemurs’ resting metabolism revved up, burning 29% more calories. And the animals ate 13% fewer calories.
The result was that these animals didn’t pack on the extra weight they normally would at that time of year.3
Which brings us to the new study.
An international team from Purdue University and Korea tested resveratrol’s effects on a special type of cell. Your body converts these “preadipocytes” into new fat cells.
But when they added resveratrol, far fewer of the pre-fat cells converted. The trick, they discovered, was to expose the cells to resveratrol in their first 24 hours.4
Together, these studies seem to show that resveratrol may have an unexpected “side effect.” It may be able to help you get – and stay – slimmer. There’s a lot more research to be done, but what we already know is promising.
There are very few long-term studies on resveratrol. But it’s a natural compound found in grapes, peanuts, chocolate and several other foods. And the few human trials haven’t found any safety issues – even at fairly high doses.
With all its other benefits – and the new proof it can help promote healthy blood sugar levels – I see no reason to avoid taking resveratrol daily. You may even find it helps you lose a little extra weight.
Yours in good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Bhatt, J.K., et al, “Resveratro
l supplementation improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus,”
Nutrition Research. Jul 2012; 32(7): 537-541.
2 Baur, J.A., et al, “Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet,” Nature. Nov 16, 2006; 444: 337-342.
3 Dal-Pan, A., et al, “Resveratrol suppresses body mass gain in a seasonal non-human primate model of obesity,” BMC Physiol. 2010; 10: 11.