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Compound Found in Grapes Mimics Metabolic Effects of Calorie-Restricted Diet

by Health News

Are you looking for another reason to drink red wine? A recent study led by Patrick Schrauwen of Maastricht University Medical Center published in the November, 2011 issue of Cell Metabolism suggests that men supplementing with resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes, red wine and other plants experienced metabolic effects similar to those observed in animal studies of calorie restriction.

This is the first study which evaluates resveratrol's metabolic effects in humans. 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.

The resveratrol group showed 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."

"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.

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