Resveratrol, an antioxidant found naturally in red wine, red grapes, and other fruits, may counter the benefits of exercise training.
Scandinavian researchers randomly assigned 27 healthy sedentary men aged 60 to 72 to take either resveratrol (250 milligrams) or a placebo every day for eight weeks. During that time, all the men participated in high-intensity interval training (alternating high- and low-intensity periods on a stationary bicycle) twice a week and full-body circuit training (a series of resistance and aerobic exercises) once a week.
By the end of the study, the men taking the placebo had better oxygen capacity (a sign of aerobic fitness) than those who took the resveratrol. Blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”) cholesterol improved only in the placebo group.
And the placebo takers performed better on the “Up & Go” test, which measures the ability to get out of a chair quickly.
What to do: Stay tuned. Earlier studies on animals had suggested that resveratrol might quench damaging “reactive oxygen species” that are generated by exercise and that increase with aging. However, this study suggests that using resveratrol to remove the reactive oxygen species may blunt the benefits of exercise.
And don’t worry about getting too much resveratrol from wine. You’d have to drink 113 bottles of California merlot to get the 250 mg that were used in this study.
Source: J. Physiol. 2013. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2013.258061.
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