Originally published November 2 2014
Natural grape compound resveratrol increases bone density in obese men
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) The results of a recent study suggest that a naturally occurring compound found in red wine could help treat osteoporosis, a condition in which our bones become weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
Published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the study's researchers sought to investigate whether resveratrol, one of a group of plant compounds known as polyphenols, could help men with metabolic syndrome.
Resveratrol possesses anti-inflammatory properties that previous studies suggest can help protect against bone loss in mice and rats.
Metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that can raise your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems, has been linked to low-grade inflammation that can eventually lead to bone loss.
Natural compound found in red wine could help overweight men build bone density
Some of these risk factors include "abdominal obesity, high levels of fats in the blood called triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar and reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good, cholesterol levels," according to a press release by Endocrine Society.
"Our study is the first to reveal resveratrol's potential as an anti-osteoporosis drug in humans," said one of the study's authors, Marie Juul Ornstrup, MD, with Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark.
"Our findings suggest the compound stimulates bone-forming cells within the body," she added.
Through a randomized and double-blinded trial involving a placebo, scientists analyzed bone mineral density and signs of bone formation and resorption in overweight men 66 years of age.
For a period of 16 weeks, the participants were given either a 500-milligram dose of resveratrol, a 75-millgram dose of the compound or a placebo twice daily.
The men receiving the naturally occurring compound found in red wine reaped the most benefits, showing significant bone growth. Those who received the higher dose of resveratrol experienced a 2.6 percent increase in lumbar spine volumetric mineral density compared to the men who received the placebo.
The study's results indicate that the higher the dosage of resveratrol, the better the benefits. The men who received the 500-milligram dose of resveratrol exhibited "a 16 percent increase in levels of the bone formation marker bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP)," compared to the participants who took the placebo.
"In just four months on high-dose resveratrol, we saw significant improvements in bone mineral density at the spine and elevated levels of the bone formation marker BAP," said Ornstrup.
"These are encouraging results. Additional research is needed to assess whether these bone protective effects occur in populations at risk of osteoporosis during the course of long-term treatment."
Resveratrol might be linked to other health benefits, scientists say
Antioxidizing polyphenols like resveratrol may have other health benefits such as offering protection for the heart. Previous studies suggest that the key ingredient in red wine may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart, as well as preventing damage to those blood vessels.
Resveratrol may help prevent blood clots by reducing the bad cholesterol in your body. Heart health is strongly linked to diabetes and obesity, a factor that likely encouraged this latest bit of research.
Scientists caution against drinking large volumes of red wine, or other alcoholic beverages, as they can cause damage when consumed in excess. This particular polyphenol is still being investigated in regard to its effects on the human body. Some studies have shown that resveratrol may actually reduce the "positive effect of exercise on the heart in older men," and its effects appear to only last a short time after consuming red wine.
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