Does resveratrol lose weight? This is a question that has been gaining strength in recent years, especially with the discovery of the various benefits that resveratrol brings to health .
And every day that comes new supplements with this compound, which promise from weight loss to a longer and healthier life. But, is this true?
To answer these questions, let’s understand a little more about resveratrol, its properties and benefits, as well as the possible dosages and ways to use it.
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds with antioxidant action called polyphenols . And like any antioxidant, it helps protect the cup from damage caused by the buildup of free radicals .
It is present in red grapes as well as peanuts and berries. And it is more concentrated in the husks of these foods. See other foods that contain resveratrol .
But nowadays you can also find resveratrol supplements in pharmacies and specialty stores.
Resveratrol and the practice of physical activities
The hypothesis that resveratrol somehow influences exercise practice has intrigued researchers for some time. Specialists began investigating it in 2006.
That was when, earlier this year, an academic journal called Cell reported in a study that rats that received the feed containing the substance ran nearly twice as far on a treadmill as those that did not.
That study concluded that resveratrol “significantly increases the animal’s resistance to muscle fatigue.”
Later, in 2013, another study attested to its properties in increasing physical endurance in animals.
It was found that supplementation with resveratrol increased VO2max in rats supplemented with the substance, an indication of improved performance.
Another 2017 study , published in The journals of gerontology , tested the effect of resveratrol supplementation on exercise capacity in older adults.
And the results were very positive, with improved physical endurance and reduced signs of muscle fatigue.
However, new studies are being done to prove similar effects in younger people.
Resveratrol and weight loss
The mechanisms that lead resveratrol to act in weight loss are many, and some are not fully understood. See below what is known so far.
Reduction of fat accumulation
In addition to acting on cholesterol levels, resveratrol can reduce the formation of adipose tissue (fat cells). This effect was seen in a study with animal models, published in the journal Life sciences in 2016.
But other studies still need to be done, to assess whether this effect also occurs in humans. Furthermore, the long-term safety of consuming this supplement has yet to be proven.
obesity and inflammation
Obesity is already considered a chronic inflammatory disease, and it is precisely this inflammation that contributes to many of the problems related to being overweight, such as diabetes.
Thus, the improvement of generalized inflammation can contribute to both weight loss and health improvement.
Improved insulin sensitivity
This is the key to the action of resveratrol in weight loss: the improvement of insulin sensitivity .
This makes the body’s cells better able to use the glucose present in the blood, and prevents the occurrence of spikes in blood glucose . It is known that blood glucose peaks are a cause of body fat storage.
Benefits of resveratrol
In addition to helping with weight loss and physical exercise, some research indicates that this substance can bring benefits for other health conditions, such as:
- Cancer: Resveratrol helps prevent both the appearance and growth of tumors, although it cannot be used as a single treatment;
- Diabetes: This supplement helps prevent and alleviate insulin resistance , a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to this hormone and which can lead to the development of diabetes;
- Heart Disease: As resveratrol helps to reduce inflammation, LDL cholesterol and hinder the formation of fatty plaques in the arteries, it ends up reducing the development of various cardiovascular diseases ;
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Because resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant, some researchers have begun to study its effect on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In a study published in 2017 in the journal Journal of neuroinflammation , researchers demonstrated that it reduces neuro-inflammation and alleviates cognitive decline in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
The optimal dosage of resveratrol varies between different studies, but the dose used in most studies is 450 to 500 mg per day.
And higher doses, above 1,000 mg per day, can be used, but only for a short period of time (two weeks).
The risk of toxicity from resveratrol was demonstrated in a study published in the journal Dose Response in 2010.
In it, researchers analyzed its use in different dosages, and found that when used in doses above 1,000 mg a day, it can cause damage to health, such as kidney problems and worsening of atherosclerosis.
As with most supplements, resveratrol is contraindicated for:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
In addition, people with some health problems should also avoid using resveratrol, such as:
- Gastric problems such as ulcers;
- Liver and kidney diseases;
- Hypertension .
But when obtained from the consumption of foods such as grapes, peanuts and other vegetables, there are no contraindications.
Side effects of resveratrol use are rare, especially when used in low doses and for short periods of time. But when they do occur, the most common reactions are:
- Gastric discomfort;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- liver problems;
- Kidney problems;
- Reduction in the amount of some blood cells, such as leukopenia and thrombocytopenia.
Therefore, before starting any supplementation, you should consult your doctor.