Resveratrol, Weight Loss, and Insulin Resistance
The Link Between Obesity and Metabolic Disorders
Statistics show that more than 2 in 3 adults in the US are considered overweight or obese.
Obesity is defined by too much body fat. This is not just a cosmetic concern – it is a complex condition, which may lead to many health issues.
So, how is obesity related to metabolic disorders? In the old days, body fat was considered to be merely storage of energy. Today, scientists know that body fat (especially fat around the belly) produces hormones, which play an important role in developing chronic, low level inflammation in the body.
This inflammation contributes to the development of high blood pressure, increases the levels of triglycerides in the body, and the chances of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabestes.
How Does Resveratrol Help With Weight Loss and Metabolic Problems?
Resveratrol is a substance (polyphenol), found in many plant sources. Resveratrol offers many health benefits; it is believed that it plays a role in cardiovascular protection, promotes longevity, and helps with weight loss and metabolic disorders.
Most well known sources of resveratrol are red grapes and red wine. However, the amount of resveratrol in food sources is typically too low to get the desired health results. That is why many people decide to take resveratrol supplements.
Results of clinical studies have shown that resveratrol:
- promotes weight loss by suppressing fat storage and accelerating fat metabolism
- leads to faster feelings of satiety, which in turn result in lower energy intakes (people naturally eat smaller quantities of food)
- increases resting metabolic rate, so you are burning more calories even when you are not exercising
- improves glucose metabolism and helps with insulin resistance and pre-diabetes
Resveratrol seems to work best in obese people, who suffer from metabolic disorders. In these people, research has clearly shown that taking resveratrol leads to improved metabolic rate, better insulin sensitivity, and lower markers of inflammations in the body.
On the other hand, studies made in young, healthy and lean individuals haven't shown significant health benefits of resveratrol supplementation.
How to Take Resveratrol Supplement
Most supplements available today provide a total of 200 to 500 mgs or resveratrol per serving. This is often recommended as the sufficient daily dose of resveratrol.
Resveratrol supplements are not under FDA supervision. However, there is a general consensus that resveratrol supplementation is safe in the above mentioned doses. Studies to date have shown any health risks in doses up to 5 grams per day.
If you want to know more about side effects of resveratrol, and possible interactions with other supplements, herbs or prescription medications, read our article on How to take resveratrol.
What Else Should You Know?
Resveratrol supplements usually contain resveratrol made from Japanese knotweed as it is much cheaper than other sources (such as red grapes). The problem with this plant is that its roots contain emodin, which is a type of laxative.
Most resveratrol manufacturers try to remove as much emodin as possible from their supplement. In larger doses, emodin may lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea. If you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort after taking resveratrol supplement, stop immediately. It is probably due to high emodin content and won't get better with time; you will need to switch to other resveratrol supplement.
To learn more, read our article on Popular resveratrol supplements. This article also discusses what you need to be careful of when choosing a resveratrol supplement to get the most health benefits.
- Exploring the promise of resveratrol: where do we go from now? American Diabetes Association. http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/62/4/1022.full
- Resveratrol can be a useful tool for reducing body fat. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110304091903.htm
- How resveratrol generates natural weight loss. http://www.examiner.com/article/how-resveratrol-generates-natural-weight-loss
- Calorie Restriction-like Effects of 30 Days of Resveratrol Supplementation on Energy Metabolism and Metabolic Profile in Obese Humans. Timmers et al. Cell Metabolism. 2011 Nov. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S155041311100386X
- Resveratrol suppresses body mass gain in a seasonal non-human primate model of obesity. Alexandre Dal-Pan, Stéphane Blanc and Fabienne Aujard. BMC Physiology June 2010. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6793/10/11/abstract
- Resveratrol Supplementation Does Not Improve Metabolic Function in Nonobese Women with Normal Glucose Tolerance. Yoshino et al. Cell Metabolism. 2012 Nov. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413112003993
- Effect of resveratrol on fat mobilization. Baile CA, Yang JY, Rayalam S, Hartzell DL, Lai CY, Andersen C, Della-Fera MA. Annals of the NY Academy of Science. 2011 Jan. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21261640
- Effects of resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity, and glucose metabolism in healthy older adults. Witte AV, Kerti L, Margulies DS, Flöel A. Journal of neuroscience. 2014 June. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24899709