Resveratrol contributes to body weight and total body fat loss and increases muscle mass in active middle-aged man
By Sławomir Ambroziak
Keywords: resveratrol, body weight, total body fat, muscle mass, arm circumference, waist circumference.
It has been demonstrated in several studies on resveratrol use in animals and isolated tissues that resveratrol is likely to promote fat loss as well as muscle tissue development in humans. Such activities of resveratrol are extremely attractive for many sports athletes, thus commercial supplements containing resveratrol have appeared on the market recently. They are precisely targeted at athletes. Unfortuntely, currently there is no research proving the lipolytic and anabolic activity of this supplement that has been conducted on physically active subjects or athletes. In order to obtain a general confirmation of the possible beneficial effect of resveratrol on body composition, we decided to do a consumer short-term trial involving a physically active middle-aged man.
A middle-aged man (50 years) was selected to take part in a consumer test. The subject was a former active athlete, who worked as a coach after finishing his boxing career and always maintained a certain level of physical activity. For several months prior to the experiment the man ate intuitively, took a mineral-vitamin supplement Vita-Min Multiple Sport (Olimp Labs.) and did two 30-minute endurance marches (a brisk march interlaced with a run) per day and a short, about an hour long intuitive resistance training with light loads, which allowed him to maintain his physical fitness and aesthetic physique.
During this test the subject had to jog three times a day for 15 minutes with VOmax=50%, do an abs workout consisting of 6 sets of 100 reps of different exercises as well as follow a resistance training regime: Monday – chest, Tuesday – shoulders, lats, Wednesday – legs, biceps, triceps, forearm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday respectively.
Caloric requirements were specified at this level of physical activity. During this experiment the subject was on a normo-caloric, well-balanced diet, in which basic nutrients were in the following proportions: protein – 20%, fat – 20%, carbohydrates – 60%.
In the first week of the test the subject took only an additional vitamin and mineral supplement (same as always). In two consecutive weeks the man had to replace Vita-Min Multiple Sport with Vita-Min Gold Anti-Ox Super Sport (enriched in 100 mg of trans-resveratrol) from Olimp Labs. as well as take 2 capsules of KenayAG’s 200 mg Micronized Trans-Resveratrol additionally (in total – 500 mg of micronized trans resveratrol per day). Both supplements were to be taken with the last meal before bedtime.
After the first week of the experiment, body weight, total body fat weight, muscle mass as well as waist and arm circumference were measured. It was to determine how the subject’s body reacted to the diet and exercise program change. The same measurement procedure was repeated after two consecutive weeks of the experiment, which was to determine how the body reacted to the supplementation of 500 mg of micronized trans-resveratrol.
The limits of measurement errors declared by the manufacturers of measuring devices were taken as the statistically significant differences; they were respectively: 0.1 kg for the measurement of body weight, 0.1% for the measurement of total body fat and muscle mass weight and 0.3 cm for the measurement of an arm and waist circumference.
After the first week of the test (without resveratrol) the male volunteer’s weight increased by 0.5 kg, but there were no statistically significant changes in body composition and his arm and waist circumference.
After another two weeks of the test, when the subject was on a resveratrol-supplemented diet, the measurements taken were as follows:
• 1.7 kg weight loss
• 0.7% total fat loss
• 0.4% increase muscle mass
• 3.5 cm loss of waist circumference
• 0.5 cm increase in arm circumference
In the second week of resveratrol supplementation the subject also reported a significant increase in vitality and libido as well as in endurance and strength (greater number of repetitions and greater load used in sets), faster regeneration after training, faster recovery from muscle soreness after exercise as well as the disappearance of not too severe, chronic pain in his knee joints that had nagged him for many years.
In this case normo-caloric carbohydrate-protein diet, which bodybuilders often use to build muscle mass, resulted in weight gain without any change in the proportions of muscle and fat tissues. Had this trend continued in the long run, the man would greatly increase his body weight, however it would be a result of a general increase in body fat and muscle tissue in roughly equal proportions. Then, to improve the aesthetics of the body the man would have to reduce body fat, which could in turn lead to a certain loss of gained muscle mass. This is observed in bodybuilding preparation cycles very often.
Two week supplementation of 500 mg of micronized trans resveratrol, with the same nutrition regime and training program, resulted in statistically significant, positive changes in the body composition and body anatomical parameters: the volunteer lost body weight and body fat and his waist circumference decreased, while increasing his muscle mass and arm circumference. Had this trend continued in the long run, the man would change his body composition and body anatomical parameters favourably, what would facilitate achieving a bodybuilder physique. It can be expected that there would be a measurable increase in muscle mass and arm circumference (probably in chest circumference as well) with simultaneous decrease of subcutaneous fat levels and waist circumference.
Observations on activating, ergogenic, aphrodisiac and anti-inflammatory activity of resveratrol also look very promising. They confirm similar earlier findings made in animal studies. These effects can be particularly interesting for physically active middle-aged and elder men.
In case of one active middle-aged man the results seem to confirm lipolytic and anabolic effects of resveratrol that are observed in animals and isolated tissues as well as justify recommending its supplementation in body fat reduction regimes and muscle building in sport.
What is more, the findings seem to justify the need for well-planned, controlled, long-term research on resveratrol on a sufficiently numerous and representative groups of physically active volunteers.