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Resveratrol supplements backed for vascular benefits: DSM study

By Nathan Gray+


Resveratrol - found in red wine and grapes - could have 'sustained' benefits on vascular functions, say the researchers.
Resveratrol - found in red wine and grapes - could have 'sustained' benefits on vascular functions, say the researchers.

Supplementation with the red wine compound resveratrol could have ‘sustained’ benefits on cardiovascular functions and hold promise for cognitive functions, according to new research backed by DSM.

The research data – presented at the 24th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension – demonstrates that regular supplementation with the red wine compound has a positive and sustained effect on circulatory function in obese adults with mild hypertension.

Led by Professor Peter Howe at the University of South Australia, the research team supplemented 28 people with 75mg per day of DSM’s ResVida for six weeks – finding that daily supplementation increased vasodilator functions (measured by flow-mediated dilatation, FMD) by 23%.

Speaking with NutraIngredients, Dr Iris Kunz, senior scientist and clinical trial manager at DSM Nutritional Products explained that while the main finding behind the study was that FMD measures increased by 23% after six weeks, the study did also suggest resveratrol supplementation brought about benefits in cognitive functions.

“There was an effect on cognitive function, but it was only significant in one parameter,” she explained – adding that while this suggests a benefit may be there, the small sample size of the current study might not have been large enough to see such effects clearly.

The research team are now looking to replicate and further these findings in larger groups and longer studies, in order better evaluate the long term benefits of resveratrol are in terms of cardiovascular health and cognitive functions.

“FMD is a well-accepted parameter for the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Kunz. “But of course to follow these really long term benefits then you have to do a really long term study.”

Study details

Kunz said the new study is the second working with Howe’s team of Australian researchers: “The first study was a study where we investigated three different doses for the effects on flow mediated dilation.”

“After this quite positive study, it was obvious that we should continue with a study on the longer term effects of resveratrol on FMD.”

The team tested supplemented 28 participants with 75mg of ResVida daily in a randomised crossover trial – with each group receiving either resveratrol or a placebo for six weeks.

Subjects were assessed by body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and FMD, in addition to monitoring cognitive functions, she explained.

“There was no effect on blood pressure or BMI … but we saw an effect on FMD,” said Kunz, who noted that Howe’s team found chronic supplementation with resveratrol improved FMD measures by 23%,

“That was the benefit after six weeks sustained supplementation,” she exapleind. “The effect after acute [immediately after receiving the supplement] was even more on top of the chronic effect – showing a benefit of 35%.”

Low dose benefit

Kunz added that since several recent studies have questioned whether resveratrol is even bioactive or has any effects in humans, the new study findings are important because they show effects are possible even at ‘relatively low doses’.

“It’s an important message that these effects can be seen even with a low dose.”

“If you look at products which are on the market, then 75 milligrams is really at the lower end – most of them have between 200 and 500 milligrams."

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