Resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, may help people lose weight, a new study has found.
The antioxidant, already known for its heart-healthy benefits, also appears to kick-start the body's ability to burn fat, according to research published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
In the study, 11 obese but otherwise healthy men were given 150 mg of resveratrol daily, in supplement form, for 30 days. The men's metabolism acted much like it would when a person is on a low-calorie diet: There were improvements in the way muscles burned fat, with cells functioning more efficiently, as well as lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
A human study showing that resveratrol mimics the effects of calorie restriction in men is a stunning achievement, says Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.
The findings suggest further research to see if resveratrol may be helpful to others, say people with type 2 diabetes, said lead researcher Patrick Schrauwen from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Researchers don't recommend getting the resveratrol from wine, as the 150 mg dose used in the study would mean downing some two gallons of wine per day.