Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is naturally found in nuts, berries, and grapes skin but the concentration is low. Studies have been widely publicized for its cardiovascular, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-aging benefits.  Research has also shown significant benefits in cognitive diseases and inflammatory disorders.

Previous research with resveratrol has demonstrated improvements in dysglycemia and insulin sensitivity, however, there has been some inconsistency in results.

According to a new review published last Tuesday in Nutrients, researchers reviewed 16 controlled trials and evaluated the correlation between resveratrol supplementation with metabolic assessments such as body weight, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, HDL, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels.  

As a result, there was significant effect of resveratrol supplementation on reducing blood glucose levels, body weight, waist circumference, and triglycerides. There was also a positive effect on increasing HDL levels but not on total cholesterol. These effects were seen in dosing at 500 mg or greater for over a 10-week period.

Resveratrol activates AMPK which upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis and stimulates glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation improving insulin sensitivity. This mechanism modifies the body’s energy balance, body fat accumulation, and increases triglyceride metabolism. It also activates sirtuins, which can increase insulin sensitivity and protect against oxidative damage. These are the same proteins activated by caloric restriction and exhibit anti-atherosclerotic effects. Resveratrol mitigates vascular nitric oxide production and endothelial dysfunction demonstrating its beneficial effects on the underlying issues of metabolic syndrome.

These results support resveratrol supplementation as a potential strategy for improving glucose control and insulin sensitivity as well as mitigating arterial stiffness and oxidative damage in patients with metabolic syndrome. Other nutrients that should be considered include inositol, tocotrienols, fish oil, probiotics, and resistant starch.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS Source: Asgary S, Karimi R, et al. Effect of resveratrol on metabolic syndrome components: A systemic review and meta-analysis. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2019 May 7.

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