Nutritional Medicine , Separating Fact from Fiction
Most people have heard of resveratrol, the amazing anti-aging supplement so prevalent in the news. Recent research is moving quickly to show us that resveratrol may now play a role in becoming our next anti-obesity drug.
Studies in mice have shown mechanisms whereby resveratrol can act to mimic caloric restriction even when mice were fed a high fat diet (Barger, et al. 2008). Dietary resveratrol also mimics the effects of caloric restriction in insulin mediated glucose uptake in cells, thus posing a role in pre-diabetes and diabetes – two conditions typically found in the obese patient.
The wide scope of mechanisms of actions of resveratrol has shown shifts in metabolic and hormonal milieu that mimic the effects of reduced calorie intake even when calorie intake and/or fat intake are high. The findings of Barger, et al. showed an intake of resveratrol achievable in humans mimics caloric restriction at the gene expression level.
Thus, resveratrol may enhance the anti-obesity effects by mimicking the calorie restriction effects of low calorie diets, vasculature effects and increasing aerobic capacity. More research is clearly needed, particularly in the human subject. However, hope seems to be on the horizon.
The more recent studies on humans have shown that a dosage of 60 mg once per day helped obese, but not normal weight people lose more weight than those not supplemented during weight loss treatments.
Naderali, EK. 2009. Obesity and cardiovascular dysfunction: A role for resveratrol? Obesity Research & Clinical Practice; 3(1):45-52.
Barger, et.al. 2008. A low dose of dietary resveratrol partially mimics caloric restriction and retards aging parameters in mice; 3(6):e2264.
Timmers S, Konings E, Bilet L., Houtkooper RH, Weijer T, Goossens GH, et al.2011. Calorie restriction-like effects of 30 days of resveratrol supplementation does on energy metabolism and metabolic profile in obese humans. Cell Metab; 14:612-622.