Saturday, October 5, 2013

100 Glasses of Wine on the Wall, 100 Glasses of Wine

Everyday we all read about new studies in health and what they might mean. Much of the information is conflicting and often creates more confusion than insight into health and human body. So I’ve decided to start blogging to bring some order to the chaos. So I invite you to read along, comment, criticize, and question. Health is a journey, not a destination, so let’s start shall we?

Resveratrol and exercise is no country for old men, research claims.
July 22, 2013
A new research study by scientists at the University of Copenhagen published today shows that resveratrol reduces the cardiovascular benefits of exercise in men over 65 years of age. This conclusion is based on a eight week study of 27 healthy, physically inactive men around age 65. During the eight weeks all the men performed high-intensity exercise. Half the men took 250mg of resveratrol daily; the other half took a placebo.

The study was double blind so neither the participants or the researchers knew which received the resveratrol or placebo. The researchers concluded that exercise training was highly effective in improving cardiovascular health parameters, but the resveratrol attenuated the positive effects of training on several parameters including blood pressure, plasma lipid concentrations, and maximum oxygen uptake.

They theorized that the lack of anti-oxidant activity as a result of taking resveratrol might reduce triggers for tissue repair and improvement.

Double blind placebo studies are, in general, valid. Adding cross-over (reversing the placebo with the resveratrol for another eight weeks) would have increased validity. However, I see two major flaws in this study. First, a glass of wine contains about 2.5mg of resveratrol. So, 250mg is the equivalent of 100 glasses of wine daily! Obviously, there was no alcohol involved but how could anyone possibly achieve those kinds of levels in their daily diet? This is a common theme in health care – If a little bit is good, a lot will be a lot better. Vitamin B3 – Niacin is very effective at reducing serum lipids and especially the L(p)a marker genetically linked with coronary risk factors. That is, if the dosage is between 100 and 500mg daily. However, prescription strength niacin (2500mg) had to be pulled from the market as it was causing, not preventing heart attacks. When you take any nutrient at an extremely high levels, it can act much like a drug, forcing profound chemical changes in the body, with unfavorable or even life threatening results.

Second, all chemical reaction in the body is oxidation. The chemical term is Redox Reaction. One chemical, like vitamin C, gives up an electron to another molecule, like vitamin E. The vitamin E is “reduced” and vitamin C is oxidized to a “free radical”. This allows the vitamin E to act as an anti-oxidant and now donate and electron to reduce another free radical. A lack of anti-oxidant activity is death to the body.

Resveratrol is an important phytonutrient, have some. Have a glass of red wine with dinner on occasion. Maybe take a supplement that contains a little resveratrol, like grape seed extract.