Tag Archives: Gut Microbiome

Resveratrol and the “Gut Microbiome”

Blueberries

You’ve surely heard about the potential health benefits of antioxidants by now, and you may have heard about one in particular, the antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes (and therefore in red wine and some grape juices as well), but new research may help illuminate and confirm some of the hypothesized benefits that had yet to be proven by science until recently. Let’s take a look.

The Study
While recent studies looked at a possible benefits of resveratrol, one in particular piggybacked on previous studies showing a link between resveratrol consumption and lowered obesity rates and sought to examine this phenomenon more closely and ensure that the link was causal (in other words, looking for further proof that resveratrol does, in fact, help control obesity, and also trying to figure out how it might do that). The study was done on laboratory mice, and has rather promising results. Researchers allowed mice to become overweight by overfeeding, and then administered resveratrol to them in varying amounts, with a control group, and the state of the gut and liver were monitored in various ways. The results of the study showed that applications of resveratrol to the mice changed the composition of the bacteria in their gut in such a way that lowered their weight over time due to changes in digestion and metabolism. Keep in mind this is a somewhat loose interpretation and we’re paraphrasing, but that’s the study in a nutshell; we figure you’ll appreciate us sparing you fine details and technical jargon.

What this Means
Before we go any further, we want to stress that studies like these are very preliminary, and we shouldn’t try to draw concrete conclusions from them just yet; the scientific process takes a bit longer than that to really figure things out. That said, these results are quite promising, and lends a bit of credence to the idea that routine consumption of resveratrol might be beneficial to overall health. This study doesn’t look at other possible benefits of resveratrol, but it’s nonetheless a solid bit of support for the heath benefits of resveratrol.

So sit back and toast to your health with a glass of red wine! Don’t overdo it, of course; alcohol can kill off bacteria in your gut, so a little bit is fine (say, one glass of red wine every evening) and could help balance your gut flora to help keep obesity in check, but too much might have a negative effect. Also consider that you can also get resveratrol in many grape juices, and especially from eating whole red table grapes.