The chemical found in red wines also defends against harmful changes seen in obesity that often precede diseases like type IIdiabetes. These changes include inflammation in the body and insulin insensitivity.
The study, claimed to be the first to test the compound in humans was conducted in Netherland and has been published this week in the journal Cell Metabolism, according to webmd
In previous studies, resveratrol has been shown to extend the lives of obese mice and increase endurance in the rats. Researchers wanted to know if humans who took resveratrol would see similar benefits. They gave 11 obese men with no family history of diabetes or similar diseases a daily dose of resveratrol or a placebo pill for 30 days. The dose of 150 milligrams a day, was quite hefty; you would need to drink 13 bottles a day of red wine to get similar quantity.
Without changing their diet or exercise habits, the metabolic function in men improved, evidence of inflammation declined, fat deposits in their livers decreased and the triglyceride levels fell. While their bodies burned up the same amount of energy over a 24-hour period, their resting and sleeping metabolic rate declined and their muscles' use of fuel became more efficient.
But unlike exercise or cutting calories, resveratrol didn't help the participants lose weight. In fact, it actually slowed metabolism. Study researcher Patrick Schrauwen, PhD, professor in the metabolic aspects of type 2 diabetes at Maastricht University in the Netherlands says a slower metabolism may be a sign that the body is using energy more efficiently. "I don't think it will be a drug that will help you to lose weight," he says. "But it may help you to become metabolically healthier."
Experts who were not involved in the research called the findings exciting, but urged caution. "This is quite impressive in terms of getting some data on clinical trials in humans," says Philippe Marambaud, PhD, Alzheimer's scientist at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y."It's a small group, and it's a short-term study," he says. "The long-term effects could be 10 times better or they could wash out."
The study may be positive in its findings but it is too basic and a lot of work needs to be done before it would call for any action. One big factor is that the quantity of resveratrol consumed in the studies is too large to be found in a wine bottle. Any inclination to drink more wine because of resveratrol benefits would be counter-productive and harmful due to the damage more alcohol would cause. It is best to limit a couple of glasses of red wine (preferably) daily-editor