Study: Red Wine Ingredient Makes Fat Men Look Healthier

Resveratrol, a compound in red wine, has been shown to improve metabolic function, decrease inflammation and more in obese men.

Word of a fascinating new Dutch study, which looked at the effects of the plant phenol resveratrol in men, is making the rounds on the Web this week. We’ve already seen the good it can do in women, and this study offers a rosy conclusion for guys, too.

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in red wine and grapes, which is known to have antioxidant proprieties. Researchers enlisted 11 obese men to take 150 milligrams of the stuff every day for 30 days. Although they made no changes to their diet or exercise habits, the men looked much healthier at the end of the trial. Here’s why: their metabolic function improved, inflammation decreased, triglyceride levels fell and liver fat declined.

The LA Times explains:

While their bodies burned up the same amount of energy over a 24-hour period, their bodies’ resting and sleeping metabolic rate declined and their muscles’ use of fuel became more efficient—signs that they were using and storing calories more like athletes in training than obese couch potatoes.

Neat, right? If other clinical trials—several are currently underway—come out with similar conclusions, resveratrol regimens could used to provide extra protection against things like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a host of other conditions associated with obesity.

But it’s not a cure-all. Despite the fact that the subjects’ bodies functioned and even looked better while they were taking the supplements, they didn’t actually shed any pounds. For that, you’d still have to hit the gym.

Another thing to note: Although resveratrol does occur naturally in red wine, you shouldn’t use this study as an excuse to pop a cork. The dosage administered to the subjects each day was equivalent to about 100 glasses of wine. I don’t think you’d be standing much past six.