The medical research conducted by the team led by Dr. Jason Dyck of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Canada focused on the natural chemical compound resveratrol found in some fruits and nuts and of course, red wine.
“We were excited when we saw that resveratrol showed results similar to what you would see from extensive endurance exercise training,” says Dyck, who works in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry as a researcher in the department of Pediatrics and the department of Pharmacology. “We immediately saw the potential for this and thought that we identified ‘improved exercise performance in a pill.’ ”
His team’s findings were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology in late May.
“I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do,” says Dyck. “It is very satisfying to progress from basic research in a lab to testing in people, in a short period of time,” according to the report on the University of Alberta website.
The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Dr. Dyck will soon start starting testing resveratrol on diabetics with heart failure to see if the natural compound can improve heart function for this patient group. The 10-week study is expected to start within the next few months, with funding from the Alberta Diabetes Institute for the team.
Dyck is an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions senior scholar and the director of the Cardiovascular Research Centre. He is also a member of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute and the Alberta Diabetes Institute.