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Resveratrol supports metabolic health, study shows


  • Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial
  • Supplementation consists of resveratrol (150 mg/day for 30 days)
  • Resveratrol shown to support metabolic efficiency and flexibility


This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial was designed to examine the effect of resveratrol on whole-body energy expenditure, substrate utilization, lipid storage, mitochondrial function, and lipolysis in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle in obese, but otherwise healthy, men.

For this study, researchers followed 11 men, mean age 52+2 years, with a BMI of 31 kg/m2, on average. The men were randomly assigned to take resveratrol (150 mg/day) or a placebo for 30-day intervals with a 4-week washout period.

The resveratrol intervention resulted in a significant (P<.05) reduction in sleeping and resting metabolic rate, suggesting improved metabolic efficiency, and a significant (P<.05) increase in 24-hour and daytime respiratory quotient, suggesting metabolic flexibility. Blood pressure was significantly (P<.05) lower with resveratrol treatment compared to placebo.

Other key findings include a significant (P<.05) improvement in levels of insulin, HOMA, triglycerides, the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, and the liver enzyme alanine-aminotransferase with resveratrol supplementation compared to placebo.

Interestingly, in muscle, resveratrol supplementation activated AMPK, increased SIRT1 and PGC-1-alpha protein levels, and increased citrate synthase activity (without any change in mitochondrial content), and improved muscle mitochondrial respiration.

No adverse events were reported.

These findings indicate that resveratrol supplementation (150 mg/day for 4 weeks) exerts beneficial effects on the metabolic profile of obese, but otherwise healthy, men similar to effects observed during calorie restriction. Moreover, these findings inform future studies exploring the potential for resveratrol supplementation to help overcome the metabolic aberrations associated with obesity in humans.


Timmers S, Konings E, Bilet L, et al. Calorie restriction-like effects of 30 days of resveratrol supplementation on energy metabolism and metabolic profile in obese humans. Cell Metab. 2011;14(5):612-22.

PMID: 22055504