Can Resveratrol Help Offset a Sedentary Life?

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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Can Resveratrol Help Offset a Sedentary Life?
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Our bodies are meant to be used. Once in motion, multiple genes are turned on that facilitate health. These genes simply don’t turn on when you sit in a chair all day or lay on a couch all night. Maybe resveratrol can help.

According to Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, “There's overwhelming data showing that the human body needs physical activity, but for some of us, getting that activity isn’t easy. A low gravity environment makes it nearly impossible for astronauts. For the earthbound, barriers to physical activity are equally challenging, whether they be disease, injury, or a desk job. Resveratrol may not be a substitute for exercise, but it could slow deterioration until someone can get moving again.”

French scientists tested rats in a weightlessness environment that mimicked space flight. The lack of activity in this situation invariably causes muscle loss and bone loss, since both of these systems require mechanical stimulation to maintain optimal tissue structure. Our bodies are very good at redistributing resources based on need. So if you don’t use it, you are likely to lose it!

In these experimental conditions the control group of rats lost muscle mass, bone mass, and developed insulin resistance. The rats given a daily dose of resveratrol1 did not develop any of these problems – a rather amazing finding to say the least. Resveratrol also maintained normal antioxidant function in key enzyme systems under these stressful circumstances, a likely factor that is part of the anti wear and tear properties of this nutrient.

You can sit waiting for a human study on this topic if you like. If you are already spending your time sitting too much in a day, then quite possibly resveratrol will help you maintain your health. I do not advocate resveratrol in place of exercise. To the contrary, taking resveratrol before exercise is a top choice for a better workout.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Resveratrol Prevents Adverse Effects of a Lack of Exercise  The FASEB Journal  I. Momken, L. Stevens, A. Bergouignan, D. Desplanches, F. Rudwill, I. Chery, A. Zahariev, S. Zahn, T. P. Stein, J. L. Sebedio, E. Pujos-Guillot, M. Falempin, C. Simon, V. Coxam, T. Andrianjafiniony, G. Gauquelin-Koch, F. Picquet, S. Blanc.

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