Resveratrol escalated into medical stardom as the silent ingredient in red wine that promoted longevity. The compound was listed to benefit diabetes, dementia and cardiovascular disease, however a recent study from Denmark says the benefits are not included in the package if you are overweight.
The study published in the journal Diabetes, showed that when obese individuals were given 1,500 mg of resveratrol per day for four weeks, it showed little or no changes compared to those who didn’t take the supplements. The researchers are saying previous studies that supported the claim that older, overweight and diabetic rodents could have their life extended are wrong.
Resveratrol functions by starting up proteins called sirtuins in a cell and switching on a series of other proteins to produce mitochondria, the energy factory of the cell. Its impact on aging, obesity and diabetes were confirmed after observing the muscle, fat and liver of animal models. But this new study contradicts it’s impact on obese subjects.
Researchers at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark carried the research on 24 obese men and monitored resveratrol’s changes to insulin levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and energy expenditure.
“The lack of effect disagrees with [previous] data obtained and raises doubt about the justification of resveratrol as a human nutritional supplement,” the researchers told The Daily Mail.
The compound’s ability on anti-aging has been in question since it was discovered in 2003 by Konrad Howitz and David Sinclair of the Harvard Medical School and saw that it activated SIRT1 protein, an anti-aging factor. But when Pfizer and Amgen reproduced the findings, they found resveratrol didn’t activate those proteins and reduced sugar levels in blood.
Last month, however, Sinclair and Howitz re-touted their claim after revealing the compound worked in a more intricate way than thought to activate SIRT1 and prevent aging.
According to the Mayo Clinic, resveratrol fights against harm to blood vessels and blood clots, while reducing “bad” cholesterols called low-density lipoprotein, or LDL.
“Things are looking promising,” Sinclair told The Daily Mail. “We’re finding that aging isn’t the irreversible affliction that we thought it was, but we won’t get [much further] without more research.”
Sinclair said his research would lead to drugs that could increase the lifespan of people, even living up to 150. Still, some scientists feel the ingredient in mice works differently in people, so future challenging studies could spur this topic back into debate.
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