Resveratrol first gained attention in 2006 when the journal Cell reported on a study performed on mice. Several resveratrol studies have been done since then, showing that this substance may indeed provide some significant benefits when it comes to losing weight.
What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a substance that occurs naturally in the skin of grapes. This substance is present in all grapes, but red and purple grapes and muscadines have higher concentrations of it. As such, red wine and dark-colored grape juice contain very high levels of it. Resveratrol belongs to a group of plant compounds known as polyphenols, which are thought to have antioxidant properties. It is also a phytoalexin or protective antibiotic that is produced in plants when they are under stress such as during droughts or when attacked by fungi.
One of the most recent resveratrol studies was performed in Canada in 2012. This study was performed on rats over a 12-week period, and showed that providing resveratrol supplements increased endurance, cardiac function, and oxidative metabolism. The combination of supplements and endurance training also improved performance by up to 21%. The results of this study indicate that resveratrol could be used to help people get in shape faster, resulting in them losing more weight in a shorter period of time.
Some resveratrol studies indicate that it activates enzymes that helps muscles use oxygen more efficiently, a performance enhancement known as the VO2 max. Generally speaking, the higher your VO2 max is, the longer and more intense your workout may be. James Smoglia, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at Marywood University claims that his clients who take resveratrol supplements are able to push themselves farther than before.
Reduces Fat Gain
A few resveratrol studies show that the supplement interacts well with blood sugar, increasing the muscles’ ability to absorb glucose from the foods people eat. What this means is that more calories will be sent to the muscles, leaving fewer to be diverted to your fat cells. Some research also suggests that resveratrol inhibits production of mature fat cells, while at the same time preventing fat from being stored in the body.
Resveratrol does appear to provide some benefits as far as weight loss goes. It may also strengthen the heart and reduce one’s risk of cancer as well. Although there do seem to be some health benefits, Dr. Christopher Gardner of the Stanford University School of Medicine prefers people obtain resveratrol from natural sources such as an occasional glass of wine rather than taking supplements. Those who are taking blood thinners or coagulants should be especially cautious, as resveratrol may interact negatively with these medications.
Most resveratrol studies show that there are plenty of benefits to taking this supplement. That doesn’t mean it is a miracle drug, as resveratrol will only work if you are already committed to a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and regular exercise program.