Over the years, there have been dozens of studies that document the health benefits of resveratrol, a natural chemical found in the skin of red grapes, pomegranates, and elsewhere. Those benefits include improving cardiovascular functioning, reducing diabetes symptoms, heart attack and cancer risks, lowering cholesterol, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s, and generally protecting against age-related diseases or conditions. But if you’re 65 and older and work out regularly, you’ll want to put down that glass of red wine and read the rest of this article.
A team of researchers at the University of Copenhagen, found that resveratrol may reduce the cardiovascular benefits older men get from exercising. They figured this out by studying a group of healthy but physically inactive men all around 65 years old, and had them do high-intensity workouts for 8 weeks. After each workout, the men got either 250 mg of resveratrol or a placebo pill. The found that exercising was extremely effective in improving what they called “cardiovascular health parameters”—blood pressure, cholesterol, and oxygen uptake.
However, in the group that got the resveratrol supplements, those benefits were reversed, according to the study’s lead researcher Ylva Hellsten. “We were surprised to find that resveratrol supplementation in aged men blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health parameters, in part because our results contradict findings in animal studies.” Hellsten added that the quantities of resveratrol given in the study were “much higher than what could be obtained by intake of natural foods.”
The study was published in The Journal of Physiology.