It’s quite difficult to keep up with nutrition research, especially since studies seem to be continuously contradicting each other. Milk is good for bones- until it isn’t anymore. Vitamin C helps prevent colds- except when it doesn’t anymore. And the most recent of discoveries has to do with resveratrol, the magic ingredient in wine (at least, until now).
A recent study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that resveratrol may not be as good as we believed. The substance is normally found in the skin of red grapes. Its health benefits were numerous, from lowering blood pressure to preventing heart attacks. So much positive information came with the substance that companies began selling the miracle substance as supplements, as a way of enhancing the effects of exercise.
This recent study, however, claims that resveratrol might, in fact, interfere with the efficacy of exercise. Scientists divided the 16 subjects of the study into two groups of patients that underwent high-intensity interval training for a period of four weeks. All sixteen participants in the study are men engaging in a maximum of three hours of aerobic exercise per week. The first group received 150-mg resveratrol daily, the second received a placebo. Curiously, at the end of the 4 week period, the group taking the resveratrol supplement had experienced fewer benefits from the physical activities than the group taking a placebo.
The conducted study was double-blind, which means that neither the participants nor the researchers were aware of what substance was given to each participant.
Professor Brendon Gurd, from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queens University of Canada, explained that the study had limits, first of all the size. It included 16 participants, so that, for an accurate, statistically significant difference, the study needs to be continued with larger subject groups. Regardless, Gurd noted that he and his team had found that the miracle substance seems to inhibit a normal response to exercise.
“The results we saw suggest that concurrent exercise training and resveratrol supplementation may alter the body’s normal training response induced by low-volume high-intensity interval training.”
In fact, the group of subjects receiving the placebo showed an increase in SOD2 gene expression, consistent with heart protection during exercise. The first group did not show improvement.
“The data set we recorded during this study clearly demonstrates that resveratrol supplementation doesn’t augment training, but may impair the effect it has on the body.”
Dr. Gurd added.