High-Doses of Resveratrol Provide No Metabolic Benefit to Obese Men

November 28, 2012

Taking high-dose supplements of resveratrol, a compound found in small amounts in red wine, provided no significant health benefit to obese but otherwise healthy men, according to a study published online November 28th in the journal Diabetes.

Previous animal and in vitro studies have suggested that taking resvertrol supplements in high doses can protect against morbidity and premature mortality for those with obesity, diabetes, hypertension or hyperlipidemia. This randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study was one of the first to examine the effects of resveratrol on humans. In this trial, 24 obese but otherwise healthy men took daily doses of 1500 mg of resveratrol or placebo over a period of four-weeks.

Researchers found no significant changes in insulin sensitivity, the main focus of the study. They also found no impact on blood pressure, metabolic rate, levels of triglycerides and fats or any other metabolic biomarkers.

“While there has been a suggestion that resveratrol could offer some protection from diabetes or heart disease, this study clearly contradicts what we have seen in previous research involving laboratory animals,” said lead researcher Morten Moller Poulsen, MD. “It seriously calls into question whether there is any benefit associated with taking supplements made from this compound. In healthy obese subjects, our results would suggest there is not.”

The researchers note, however, that future studies should test the therapeutic potential of resveratrol on subjects who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to determine if it might be more beneficial for people who are less healthy.

To contact lead researcher Morten Moller Poulsen, MD, Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus, Denmark: email mmp@ki.au.dk or phone: 45-7846-7737.

Diabetes publishes original research about the physiology and pathophysiology of diabetes. Published by the American Diabetes Association, it is the leading peer-reviewed journal of basic research into one of the nation’s leading causes of death by disease. Diabetes also is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure, and non-traumatic amputations.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)