Lose Weight with a Life-Extending Drug

Published:July 14th, 2010

Resveratrol, a compound from red wine and dark colored berries, has already taken so much fame for its supposed life extending properties. A study was able to discover that the same compound may also be helpful in combating obesity.

The study focused on lemurs, which are primates and much nearer to humans than using rat or mice models, were found to lose weight on their usual fattening season upon consumption of resveratrol. Researchers also found out that their metabolic rates significantly increased as their food intake decreased, which could have been attributed to anti-obesity effects.

Study researcher Fabienne Aujard from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France observes, “Developing dietary strategies should be the goal in every effort to control obesity and to decrease body mass gain.” He continues, “Understanding how resveratrol controls weight gain may provide us some enlightenment on obesity risk factors.”
Prior studies have been conducted showing that resveratrol have other health benefits, which is its life-extending properties, because of the antioxidants protecting the cells from damage. It has been shown as well to add to the life spans of yeast, flies, and worms. As demonstrated on rats, it has been suggested that health problems can be warded off coming from a high fat diet, liver and heart problems, also high blood sugar levels.

The lemurs were shown to have significant weight loss upon taking the compound. From a normal increase of 1.2 grams a day, they dropped to about 0.5 grams per day as the experiment has ended. Translating to humans, this could mean about 15% weight loss in an obese person. The lemurs were also discovered to have higher resting metabolic rates that even without physical activity, energy is burned. Food intake was also decreased by about 13% suggesting that the compound may be a good appetite suppressant.

Aujard however maintains that more research is needed to see how resveratrol affects appetite. The results of this study will be released on an upcoming issue of BMC Physiology.

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