It has been discovered that the chemical resveratrol, found in small quantities in red wine, improves metabolic health in obese men. A recent study, published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism, tested the effects of the chemical resveratrol on 11 obese men over a 30 day period. All men were perfectly healthy in other respects but due to their obesity, were more at risk of contracting type II diabetes.
It was found that, after taking a supplement of resveratrol once a day, the men's overall metabolism improved and their cells behaved in the way that would be expected from someone reducing their calorie intake. Energy used during sleep was significantly reduced as was the subjects' blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Also affected was the behaviour of the muscles when they burned fat. Finally, the amount of fat in the liver was reduced. These are all positive effects which would improve the subjects' health in the long term. There were no obvious side effects but the study may need to be carried out over a longer period of time to ensure that this is indeed true.
The basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy that one uses up or expends when at rest. That is, the amount of energy the body needs to allow the organs to function and respire. It is widely believed that lower metabolism actually causes weight gain but this is not necessarily the case. Dieting and reducing calorie intake causes the effects seen in this study and improves cell functioning and efficiency. This means that normal bodily functions such as hormone regulation and respiration are also more efficient. Insulin would therefore be regulated more effectively and reduce the chances of contracting type II diabetes.
Numerous animal studies have been previously been conducted on the effects of the supplement resveratrol on metabolic rate, but this is one of the first to show its effects in human subjects. Furthermore, the results shown in this study may also be linked to anti-aging effects which may make resveratrol a beneficial supplement to use.