A better name for resveratrol might by reverseatrol, if new research that claims the compound doesn't improve exercise's positive effects but instead reverse them is to be believed. The study was published on Monday in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.
Resveratrol, or RSV, a natural phenol and a main compound in red wine, has been touted for its many human health benefits, including its apparent ability to reduce blood pressure and diminish the risk of heart disease. But resveratrol's most heralded benefit (at least up until now) has been its ability to multiple the positive effects -- a benefit that made it a popularly selling supplement at local health stores.
"The easiest way to experience the benefits of physical activity is to be physically active," the study's lead author Dr. Brendon Gurd, a kinesiology and health studies professor at Queen's University in Canada, said in a press release. "The efficacy of RSV at improving metabolic and cardiovascular functions is not as profound as once thought."
Gurd and his colleagues had study participants perform high intensity interval training three times a week for four weeks. Half the participants were given RSV, while the others were given a placebo. At the end of the month-long training regiment, researchers found that RSV-takers gained no discernible advantage in their physical fitness levels or the health benefits that normally accompany exercise.
"The results we saw suggest that concurrent exercise training and RSV supplementation may alter the body's normal training response induced by low-volume HIIT," Gurd explained. "The data set we recorded during this study clearly demonstrates that RSV supplementation doesn't augment training, but may impair the affect it has on the body."