Resveratrol influences belly fat behavior

Fat can not only be unsightly, but if it’s sitting on your belly, may also contribute to overproduction of signaling hormones called adipokines, which are linked to metabolic changes that can worsen health.

New research from Aarhus University has found that abdominal adipose tissue extracted from overweight adults, and then exposed to resveratrol, exhibited reduced adipokine production. According to these authors, “small interfering molecules such as resveratrol are, in this matter, hypothesized to possess beneficial effects and might improve the metabolic profile in human obesity.”

The scientists obtained the abdominal adipose tissue via liposuction from seven women and one man, ages 43-55, who had body mass indexes categorized as overweight. All subjects were Caucasian, healthy and not on any medication that could confound the results.

Because previous studies in rodents have shown that calorie restriction reduces production of adipokines by activating an enzyme called Sirtuin 1, the scientists had hypothesized that resveratrol may act similarly. Resveratrol is well-known as a potent Sirtuin 1 activator.

This most recent in vitro study, published in International Journal of Obesity, suggests that regular dietary intake of resveratrol may guard against the metabolic changes that occur when there is excess fat on the body – as it has with rodents and monkeys.

Resveratrol is a phytoalexin (a plant-produced antimicrobial substance) found in small amounts, most notably, in red wine, as well as in other common foods such as grapes, peanuts, and chocolate. The most concentrated natural source is the Japanese Knotweed (Polyganum cuspidatum).

Resveratrol gained scientific interest after it demonstrated effects similar to calorie restriction in slowing the rate of aging and increasing the lifespan in a number of species including nematode worms, mice, and rhesus monkeys. In addition, resveratrol protects overfed mice from weight gain and lemurs from seasonal weight gain.

Source: Olholm J, Paulsen SK, Cullberg KB, Richelsen B, Pedersen SB. Int J Obes (Lond) 2010;34:1546-53.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: