Red Wine Antioxidant May Block Exercise Benefits

Posted by juggernautPT on February 28, 2014

Red Wine Antioxidant May Block Exercise Benefits
Red Wine Antioxidant May Block Exercise Benefits

Danish research has found that resveratrol, an antioxidant in red grapes and associated products including red wine, could offset the health benefits of exercise in older men.

A team from the University of Copenhagen recruited 27 healthy but sedentary non-smoking males aged around 65 years and prescribed engagement in an eight-week high-intensity exercise program, including full-body circuit training.

Half of the study participants consumed 250mg of resveratrol each day for the duration of the study, while the other half consumed a placebo pill. Interestingly, neither the study subjects or the researchers knew which pill they were taking.

Unsurprisingly, the participants’ heart health improved as a result of the physical activity. However, in those who consumed the resveratrol the positive effects of exercise on blood pressure, levels of fat in the blood and the capacity of the body to transport and use oxygen were not evident, apparently having been counteracted by the antioxidant supplement. It was also found that resveratrol did not hinder the progress of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

Although it was not clear why the results were as they were, doctoral student and study corresponding author Lasse Gliemann said; ‘…one argument could be that free radicals (those removed by the antioxidants), although deleterious to cells when in excess, could be important in stimulating the training response. Thus, lots of antioxidants would remove all the free radicals and hence remove some of the training response.’

Commenting on the study findings, Dr Michael Joyner, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, said; ‘Some people think you need at least a bit of oxidative stress to trigger or stimulate exercise training responses. The same thing is true for inflammation. Too much is bad, but some might be required for normal physiological signalling.’

Source: Journal of Physiology


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