12 January - 20 June 2016

Another benefit of resveratrol - can supplementation reverse effects of diet on muscles?

A study published in Frontiers in Physiology by researchers from Georgetown University, California State Polytechnic University and National Institutes of Health, Baltimore suggests that resveratrol supplementation could help reverse the effects of a high fat/sugar diet on muscles.

A study published in Frontiers in Physiology by researchers from Georgetown University, California State Polytechnic University and National Institutes of Health, Baltimore suggests that resveratrol supplementation could help reverse the effects of a high fat/sugar diet on muscles.

Resveratrol is a phenolic compound found in some fruits including blueberries, raspberries and the skins of red grapes and so red wine. Previous studies have suggested that resveratrol can have beneficial effect on diseases including atherosclerosis and type II diabetes and has been shown in mice to parallel the effects of aerobic exercise on muscle and prolong lifespan.

Muscle phenotype is determined partly by the type of myosin heavy chain (MHC) protein expressed throughout the muscle.  Muscles can be classified as ‘slow’, ’fast’ or ‘mixed’ depending on the predominant isoform present. ‘Slow’ muscles tend to be those used more often. These have a greater sensitivity to insulin, more aerobic enzymes and are more fatigue resistant. In the current study, Hyatt e al. investigated the effect of age and a high fat/sugar diet, with and without resveratrol supplementation, on three different types of leg muscles in rhesus monkeys. The muscles investigated were the soleus (‘slow’), plantaris (‘fast’) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL – ‘mixed’).

Twenty-four male rhesus monkeys were split in to four groups: 4 in a control group, 8 in a high fat/sugar group (HFS), 7 in a high fat/sugar and resveratrol group (HFSR) with 5 monkeys in a younger control group.  Both control groups were fed a purified diet with 13.1% of calories from fat and 2.2% sucrose by weight. The HFS and HFSR groups were fed a diet of the same weekly average consumption but with 42.3% of calories from fat and 27% sucrose by weight. The HFSR group were given a resveratrol supplement (as a treat) of 80mg/day for a year and 240mg/day for a second year. The HFS group were given a similarly formed placebo.

After two years, Hyatt et al. found that average total body mass for the HFS and HFSR monkeys was 32% and 25% higher respectively than the older control but that there were no changes in the MHC isoforms between the old and younger controls for any of the three muscles.

In the HFS monkeys, the soleus muscle showed a change from ‘slow’ to ‘fast’, there being more ‘fast’ MHC isoform present than for the HFSR and control groups. The plantaris muscle showed more ‘slow’ MHC isoforms in the HFSR group than present for the others. EDL showed little diet-related change.

Hyatt el at. indicate that results show the ‘slow’ soleus muscle to be most sensitive to a high fat/sugar diet as shown by the higher proportion of the ‘fast’ MHC isoform for the HFS monkeys, that the plantaris and EDL muscles “appeared unaffected by changes in diet alone” and that both soleus and plantaris “were responsive to long-term resveratrol treatment” as evident from the higher proportion of ‘slow’ MHC isoform in these muscles in the HFSR group.

Hyatt et al. state that their findings indicate that for the soleus muscle in the resveratrol supplemented group, the MHC isoforms “were similarly distributed to that in the control monkeys suggesting that resveratrol may have reversed, or blunted, the slow to fast shift that was evident in the high fat/sugar diet group”.

The study concludes by stating that resveratrol supplementation may be an effective strategy in promoting the expression of fatigue-resistant MHC isoforms in heavily used muscle especially if this expression is altered as a result of a long-term high fat/sugar diet.

RSSL is happy to discuss the analysis of resveratrol with clients. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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