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Do high doses of resveratrol block heart health benefits of exercise?

Published on

23 July 2013

A new study from Denmark suggests that high doses of resveratrol supplements may counteract cardiovascular benefits of exercise in older men.

The randomized controlled trial included 27 healthy, physically inactive men around 65 years old who per-formed high-intensity exercise training and received either 250 mg of resveratrol or a placebo daily for
8 weeks (1). The study results showed that exercise training potently improved blood pressure, blood cholesterol, maximal oxygen uptake and the plasma lipid profile. Participants who received high doses of resveratrol showed a reduced positive effect of some training-induced improvements in cardiovascularhealth parameters.

The researchers commented that these results surprisingly contradict previous research that suggested res-veratrol to have potent anti-aging effects attributed to supposed cardiovascular benefits. Experts commented that the validity of the small study is very limited. Looking at the results in more detail, it seems that the res-veratrol group was basically less fit (with less lean mass and higher proportion of body fat) than the placebo group, which may already explain the difference in reaction of the two groups to the exercise program, they said. In addition, no reference data were published on the reaction of the participants of each group on the exercise program before they received resveratrol or placebo.


  1. Gliemann L. et al. Resveratrol blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health in aged men. Journal of Physiology. Published online July 2013.

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