Guys, You May Want to Reconsider Resveratrol Supplementation
Fascinating new research suggests that older men who exercise to improve their cardiovascular health may want to avoid the popular dietary supplement resveratrol. Found in red wine, grapes, peanuts and a few other plants, resveratrol is a potent antioxidant compound. It received a lot of attention by the media in the past decade or so, after it was revealed that certain creatures, such as yeast and some lower animals, lived significantly longer when fed a diet laced with the stuff, compared to creatures that consumed an ordinary diet.
According to research published in the Journal of Physiology, when older men took resveratrol while exercising vigorously, they did not experience the cardiovascular benefits seen by other men, who did not take the antioxidant supplement. The men who took resveratrol did not experience lowered cholesterol levels, or reduced blood pressure, unlike control subjects, who were also older men who had been largely inactive before the start of the study. Exercise improves a broad range of health markers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar control. Antioxidants are widely believed to help combat oxidative stress, an underlying condition linked to many age-related diseases.
The present finding is surprising, because most previous research, conducted primarily using animal models of human health, have suggested that supplemental antioxidants, like resveratrol, can boost a wide range of health parameters. The researchers speculated that the body actually needs some free radicals (the molecular rascals that cause oxidative stress) to prompt the body to adapt to stress in healthy ways. The investigators pointed out that the amounts of resveratrol used in the study were much higher than a person would get by eating normal amounts of resveratrol-containing foods, so there’s no reason to avoid these foods.
Lasse Gliemann, Jakob Friis Schmidt, Jesper Olesen, Rasmus Sjørup Biensø, Sebastian Louis Peronard, Simon Udsen Grandjean, Stefan Peter Mortensen, Michael Nyberg, Jens Bangsbo, Henriette Pilegaard, and Ylva Hellsten. Resveratrol Blunts the Positive Effects of Exercise Training on Cardiovascular Health in Aged Men. JPHYSIOL, 2013/258061