Resveratrol, which naturally occurs in grape skins, is hugely beneficial
It can help counteract the negative impact of high fat/high sugar diets
Resveratrol also occurs in blueberries, raspberries and mulberries
Wine lovers, rejoice! Researchers have found that a compound found in red wine could help counteract the negative impact of a high fat diet.
The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, point to the health benefit of resveratrol, which occurs naturally in blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, grape skins and consequently in red wine.
The In previous animal studies, resveratrol has already shown to increase the life span of mice and slow the onset of diabetes. In one study, it mirrored the positive effects of aerobic exercise in mice, which were fed a high fat/high sugar diet.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, grape skins and consequently in red wine.
For the new study, a control group of rhesus monkeys was fed a healthy diet and another group was fed a high fat/sugar diet, half of which also received a resveratrol supplement and the other half which did not.
Researchers wanted to know how different parts of the body responded to the benefits of resveratrol — specifically the muscles in the back of the leg.
Three types of muscles were examined – a “slow” muscle, a “fast” muscle and a “mixed” muscle. The study showed that each muscle responded differently to the diet and to the addition of resveratrol.
The soleus muscle, a large muscle spanning from the knee to the heel, is considered a “slow” muscle used extensively in standing and walking.
In the soleus muscle, myosin, a protein which helps muscles contract and determines its slow or fast properties, shifted from more slow to more fast with a high fat/sugar diet. The addition of resveratrol to the diet counteracted this shift, researchers said.
Of the three lower hind leg muscles analysed for this study, the soleus was the most effected by the high fat/high sugar diet and also most effected by the resveratrol supplements. This may be partially due to the fact that, on a daily basis, it is used much more than the other two muscles.
The plantaris muscle, a 5-10 cm long muscle along the back of the calf, did not have a negative response to the high fat/high sugar diet, but it did have a positive response to the addition of resveratrol. The third muscle was not affected by the diet or addition of resveratrol.
“Skeletal muscles that are phenotypically slower can sustain longer periods of activity and could contribute to improved physical activity, mobility, or stability, especially in elderly individuals,” said Hyatt, indicating that the study could be applied to humans.
For the current study, J.P. Hyatt, associate professor at Georgetown University and his team of researchers fed a control group of rhesus monkeys a healthy diet and another group a high fat/high sugar diet, half of which also received a resveratrol supplement and half of which did not.