WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Despite showing early
promise in some animal studies, supplements of resveratrol, an
antioxidant found aplenty in red wine, did not improve insulin
sensitivity or heart health in obese men, a small trial found.
Researchers found no difference in insulin sensitivity -- the
measure of how well the body uses the hormone insulin -- in 24
obese but otherwise healthy men who took daily 1,500-milligram
doses of resveratrol compared to other men who took an inactive
placebo for four weeks.
Nor were there any changes in other signs of heart health,
including blood pressure, levels of blood fats called triglycerides
and other fats.
The study, led by Dr. Morten Poulsen at Aarhus University
Hospital in Denmark, appears online Nov. 28 in the journal
Dr. Vivian Fonseca, president of medicine and science for the
American Diabetes Association, said he is not surprised that the
study did not show any benefits associated with the resveratrol
"People who drink red wine and do so in moderation may have healthy lifestyles that may allow them to live longer and decrease their insulin sensitivity, but putting it into a pill doesn't solve the problem for people who live unhealthy lives, like the men in the study," Fonseca said. "I think some of the initial animal studies on resveratrol were hyped far more than they should have been and this study should put all of that to rest."
Dr. John Buse, a professor of medicine at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, agreed. "It is nice to see the lack
of efficacy so elegantly demonstrated," he said. "There cannot be
much question remaining at this point."
People at risk for diabetes can take preventive measures, he
noted. "The most important thing is to be screened for diabetes if
you are at risk," Buse said. This includes everyone older than 45
and younger people who are overweight.
"To reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce calorie intake with an aim to reduce weight by 5 to 10 percent and increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes at least five days a week," Buse advised. "That reduces diabetes risk by about 60 percent over three years."
For her part, Dr. Tara Narula, associate director of cardiac
care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, "People are
always looking for a one-stop, easy cure-all supplement or quick
fix, but the things that work require work."
While these supplements may not stack up, moderate alcohol
consumption may have some health benefit, Narula said. "If you are
going to drink, red wine is the one that I recommend because there
is a potential benefit from compounds in the wine itself," she
That's good advice, said Dr. Howard Weintraub, a cardiologist at
NYU Langone Medical Center. "There are benefits within the wine
that extend beyond the resveratrol, and part of it may be because
alcohol helps improve good cholesterol," he said. "If you enjoy red
wine, a glass or two a day may be beneficial." But, he cautioned,
just because a glass or two can be good for you doesn't mean that
more is better.
Concerned about your risk for diabetes? Get the facts on
prevention at the
American Diabetes Association.
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