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Researchers invited 27 healthy, but sedentary 60 to 72 year old men to participate in an eight-week exercise program. All participants were nonsmokers and did not have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes. In addition to the exercise, the men were randomly selected to receive 250 mg of resveratrol per day, or to receive no resveratrol (placebo).
The exercise program consisted of three weekly sessions—two sessions of high-intensity interval training on a stationary bike plus one session of full-body circuit training (CrossFit). The researchers tracked the men’s fitness levels by measuring maximal oxygen consumption and maximal arterial pressure, and collected and analyzed blood samples for heart health markers.
In response to exercise, compared with the men receiving no resveratrol (placebo), those receiving the supplement experienced significantly less improvement in maximal oxygen uptake, no decrease in mean arterial pressure, significantly lower blood prostacyclin levels—a substance produced by the body to relax blood vessels, significantly higher muscle TBX levels—a substance produced by the body that can constrict blood vessels, and no reduction in total or LDL cholesterol, or triglyceride levels (whereas the placebo group which experienced significant reductions). So while the exercise training improved several markers of heart health in older men, taking resveratrol diminished or eliminated many of these benefits.
The findings took many researchers by surprise, and according to the study leader, Dr. Ylva Hellsten, “our results contradict findings in animal studies.”
This research found that taking 250 mg of resveratrol daily when beginning an exercise program may have a detrimental effect in senior men. If you take resveratrol and are uncertain as to whether you should keep doing so, consider the following:
(J Physiol 2013, doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2013.258061; Ann N Y Acad Sci 2011;1215:22-33.)