Resveratrol Supplements May Block Some Exercise Benefits – Get Resveratrol from Food Instead!

The phytonutrient resveratrol has been receiving a lot of attention lately for its antioxidant properties. However, a new study shows that taking it in supplement form may actually have certain detrimental effects.

Resveratrol is found naturally in grapes, blueberries, mulberries, cranberries, peanuts and jackfruit, along with several other foods. It is found in red wine because of the grape content, and has contributed to theories as to why the French tradition of drinking a glass of red wine with dinner is linked to longevity. Resveratrol has been associated with anti-aging properties, as well as cardiovascular health.

The study, performed at the University of Copenhagen and published very recently in The Journal of Physiology, found that for older men taking high-dose resveratrol supplements while undergoing a new and intense exercise program, the resveratrol seemed to negate some of the positive effects of the exercise.

According to Lasse Gliemann, a PhD student who was involved in the study, “we studied 27 healthy, physically inactive men around 65 years old for 8 weeks. During the 8 weeks all of the men performed high-intensity exercise training and half of the group received 250 mg of resveratrol daily, whereas the other group received a placebo pill (a pill containing no active ingredient).”

Gliemann continues, “the study design was double-blinded, thus neither the subjects nor the investigators knew which participant had received either resveratrol or placebo… We found that exercise training was highly effective in improving cardiovascular health parameters, but resveratrol supplementation attenuated the positive effects of training on several parameters including blood pressure, plasma lipid concentrations and maximal oxygen uptake.”

University of Copenhagen researchers hypothesize that these results have to do with some level of oxidant stress being necessary for the body to respond to stressors such as exercise appropriately. For this reason, they speculate that too high of an antioxidant content may be damaging.

GrapesIt is important to note, however, that the men studied were around 65, and had just begun a high-intensity workout program after leading inactive lifestyles. Studies have not yet been conducted as to whether younger people, or those already leading active lifestyles, would see similar results, or very different results, from resveratrol supplementation.

Does this mean that we should eat less grapes and cranberries, and stop drinking red wine? Not at all. As Ylva Hellsten, the leader of the study, explains, “it should be noted that the quantities of resveratrol given in our research study are much higher than what could be obtained by intake of natural foods.”

So, enjoy your occasional glass of red wine and your bunch of grapes, as well as the numerous health benefits they provide, including resveratrol. Nutrients from foods are much easier for the body to absorb, and therefore more beneficial overall, than from a man-made supplement.

-The Alternative Daily


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