Another reason for wine lovers to toast resveratrol

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Red wine lovers have a new reason to celebrate. Researchers have found a new health benefit of resveratrol, which occurs naturally in blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, grape skins and consequently in red wine.

While studying the effects of resveratrol in the diet of , Dr. J.P. Hyatt, an associate professor at Georgetown University, and his team of researchers hypothesized that a resveratrol supplement would counteract the negative impact of a high fat/high sugar diet on the hind leg muscles. 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.

For Dr. Hyatt's current study, which was published in the open access journal Frontiers in Physiology, a control group of rhesus monkeys was fed a healthy diet and another group was fed a high fat/high sugar diet, half of which also received a resveratrol supplement and half of which did not. The 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. Of the three lower hind leg muscles analyzed 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.

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/ high sugar diet. The addition of resveratrol to the diet counteracted this shift.

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, with a fast to slow myosin shift. The third muscle was not affected by the diet or addition of resveratrol.

Hyatt said it would be reasonable to expect other slow muscles to respond similarly to the soleus when exposed to a high fat/high sugar diet and resveratrol.

"The maintenance or addition of slow characteristics in soleus and plantaris muscles, respectively, implies that these muscles are far more fatigue resistant than those without . 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," he said, when asked if this study could be applied to humans.

While these results are encouraging, and there might be a temptation to continue eating a high fat/high sugar diet and simply add a glass of red wine or a cup of fruit to one's daily consumption, the researchers stress the importance of a healthy diet cannot be overemphasized. But for now there's one more reason to have a glass of .

Explore further

Red grape chemical may help prevent bowel cancer but less is more

More information: Jon-Philippe K. Hyatt et al, Muscle-Specific Myosin Heavy Chain Shifts in Response to a Long-Term High Fat/High Sugar Diet and Resveratrol Treatment in Nonhuman Primates, Frontiers in Physiology (2016). DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00077
Provided by Frontiers
Citation: Another reason for wine lovers to toast resveratrol (2016, May 13) retrieved 19 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 13, 2016
I completely agree NoStrings. It's one more reason to keep taking that Pterostilbene capsule every morning (is better than Resveratrol IMO).

Also, doesn't an entire 750ml bottle of Syrah wine (which has the most) contain only 3mg of Resveratrol?! Wine is a very expensive "supplement".

May 13, 2016
On this site was posted an article of a physician saying that society was so alcoholic that to speak about resveratrol they need to say that was contained in wine, however it is not common to hear or read that resveratrol is contained in high concentration in grape juice... And of course it is available in capsules with higher concentration and purity.

May 13, 2016
Or you could eat grapes and get the benefits of resveratrol, fiber, and the yummy taste of grapes that haven't been soured with fermentation.

But if you really must have your minuscule amount of resveratrol from wine, you can enjoy reading this gem on the neurological effects of alcohol while you imbibe:


May 14, 2016
Yummy... blueberries. Ah eats lots n lots of California seedless grapes cuz' Ah iz' a chipmunk dat lives in a huuuuge blueberry patch outside o' Salinas in da' gwate' state of California. Ah turns 25 next month and outlived da' owner's cat. But dang!, she got a new kitten' ta' chase me. Now about's dem' blueberries...gotta luv' 'em!! I can still run fassst.

May 14, 2016
NoStrings is a liar! Frontiers is a peer reviewed source...see the link at the end of the artical!!

May 15, 2016
Genius comment NoStrings! What is wrong with the news?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more