Thank you for your support, which keeps us 100% independent. Click here to explore the perks of your membership.

In this article

Can resveratrol fight obesity?

Brown and beige fat are all the rage, and this preliminary study looks at how resveratrol may play a role.

Study under review: Resveratrol induces brown-like adipocyte formation in white fat through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α1

Introduction

Resveratrol, an antioxidant commonly found in red wine, was supposed to be the breakout supplement of our time. Many media outlets have praised its anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-heart disease properties. The anti-aging claims drew the most attention, as resveratrol seemed to act as a "calorie restriction mimetic" and was theorized to slow aging and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. While there have been many promising animal studies[1], these miraculous benefits have not panned out in human trials[2].

In Study Deep Dives #2, we reviewed the ergogenic effects of resveratrol in the context of high-intensity interval training and found that it was unlikely to increase performance[3] and may even impair training adaptations. Even though most positive health outcomes seen in the animal models don’t usually manifest in humans, there remains a chance that resveratrol supplementation could moderately improve metabolic markers for insulin sensitivity[4] and cardiovascular health[5].

The article reviewed here continues to expand our knowledge of how resveratrol operates, inching us closer toward a potentially practical use for the supplement. The study under review examined the effect of resveratrol supplementation on what is known as beige or ‘brown-like’ adipose tissue. The human body contains three distinct types of adipose tissue: white, brown, and beige fat. The basic characteristics of these are described in the sidebar.

Who and what was studied?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What were the findings?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What does the study really tell us?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

The big picture

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Frequently asked questions

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What should I know?

Become an Examine Member to unlock this article.

Free 2-week trial »

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Other Articles in Issue #09 (July 2015)