Resveratrol–the new “exercise in a pill”?

I’ve always been a big fan of resveratrol. It’s a powerful antioxidant that offers significant protection from any type of chronic disease. Heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer. You name it, and resveratrol can help you avoid it.

But it’s not “exercise in a pill,” as a new study in the Journal of Physiology seems to infer.

Researchers found that when they gave mice resveratrol it improved physical performance, muscle strength, and heart function.

It worries me, though, that the lead researcher claims that “resveratrol could mimic exercise.”

I don’t doubt that resveratrol has these effects. As I said, it’s powerful stuff. And, I know how appealing the idea of “exercise in a pill” is.

But, first of all, the mice in the study weren’t just given resveratrol. They were also put on a “progressive treadmill running” program.

Plus, keep in mind that these results were only seen in mice. So there’s no telling if they’ll translate to human physiology.

The bottom line is that there’s simply NO substitute for the benefits you get from actual physical activity. If resveratrol can help your efforts–great! But don’t expect it to do all the work for you.

“Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats,” J Physiol 2012; 590: 2,783-2,799