Resveratrol Blocks Benefits of Exercise in Older Men


Both exercise and the polyphenol compound resveratrol have been shown to have positive health benefits.

Hundreds of studies have proven that regular aerobic exercise reduces the risk of all diseases and increases lifespan.

Many people who exercise also consume a supplement called resveratrol.  This compound, a polyphenol derived from grapes, has been implicated in the French Paradox.  People from France have long lifespans despite high fat and high sugar diets it is believed due to regular red wine consumption from which resveratrol is derived.

Further, thousands of studies in animals and cell cultures have shown resvertrol appears to extend lifespan by mimicking the effects of caloric restriction and dampening cell growth pathways.

The current study looked at the effect of resvertrol on the benefit of exercise in sedentary older males, hoping as many people do, the positive effect would be additive.

A group of 27 men over aged 65 were subjected to 8 weeks of of regular high intensity exercise.  Half received 250 mg of resveratrol daily whereas the other half got placebo.

It was found that those getting resveratrol exhibited reduced benefit from exercise including  on “blood pressure, plasma lipid concentrations and maximal oxygen uptake.”

Reference (EurekAlert)

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11 Responses to “Resveratrol Blocks Benefits of Exercise in Older Men”

  1. Michael says:

    The actual scientific report is here:

    … and could be downloaded by anyone with ready journal access …

  2. Bill Sardi says:

    At no time did resveratrol meaningfully interfere or block the beneficial effects of exercise in this study. Cholesterol and blood pressure measures remained within “optimal” and “desirable” ranges as specified by the American Heart Association. This is a slanted piece of pseudoscience. The data is correct but the conclusions and recommendations do not concur with the reported numbers. See my latest report at

  3. Michael says:

    Mr. Sardi, how can you say that “At no time did resveratrol meaningfully interfere or block the beneficial effects of exercise in this study”? You’re right to say that “Cholesterol and blood pressure measures remained within “optimal” and “desirable” ranges as specified by the American Heart Association,” but that’s beside the point: neither the blog post nor the scientific report claimed that these risk factors worsened on resveratrol — just that resveratrol users didn’t get as much benefit from exercise. People taking resveratrol enjoyed less reduction in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and less reduction in mean arterial (blood) pressure than people who didn’t, and people who exercised without taking resveratrol enjoyed reductions in triglycerides, while those who took resveratrol did not, despite the exercise. Resveratrol users may also possibly have gotten less gain in other factors where there were nominal differences in the results that did not reach statistical significance. Exercise was beneficial in all subjects; it was not as beneficial in resveratrol users, based on the risk factor changes.

  4. Darryl says:

    I’m reminded of Ristow, Michael, et al. “Antioxidants prevent health-promoting effects of physical exercise in humans.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106.21 (2009): 8665-8670.

    There, it appeared that bulk antioxidant supplementation blunted the normal reactive species spike from exercise, preventing endogenous responses like Nrf2-ARE induction.

    Resveratrol, while best known as a Sirt1 activator and calorie restriction mimetic, also induces ARE transcription via the Nrf2 pathway. But here, too, perhaps blunting short term reactive nitrogen and oxygen species production has its shortcomings.

    • jameskatt says:


      The reduction in blood pressure from exercise is from the increase in proinflammatory signaling which leads to an increase in nitric oxide production from leukocytes which relaxes arterial wall tension. Reducing proinflammatory signaling would reduce exercise induced blood pressure reduction.

      Proinflammatory signaling can also reduce gluconeogenesis and thus reduce blood sugar. But I would rather improve insulin sensitivity to reduce blood sugar rather than increase inflammation to do so.

  5. Wei says:

    So base on this study, from health perspective, it means that it is wiser to

    i) take resveratrol only without exercise; or
    ii) exercise without taking resveratrol; or
    iii) take resveratrol while continue to exercise, knowing the the benefits from exercise would be limited, but combine benefits would still be better than either i) and ii) alone

    Like many who take resveratrol and exercise simultaneously, I am confused, please help. Thanks!

  6. Darian Smith says:

    Some researchers have analyzed the study and found flaws in it the results are not statistically significant.

    Resveratrol has been under a negative campaign for while(questioning whether it’s bioavailable, questioning whether it activates sirtuins, questioning whether it interferes with the benefits of exercise, questioning benefits on lifespan). Most of this research questioning resveratrol has been debunked.

    Resveratrol has increased the lifespans of yeast, worms, fruit flies, fish, mice fed a high-calorie diet, genetically induced mitochnodrially dysfunctional mice, and in senescence accelerated SAMP8 and SAMR1 mice. It’s a very promising compound.

  7. Audrey Serrano says:

    Do what? It blocks the benefits for men over 65. Well then, I’ll be sure not to give any to my husband when he turns 65. But right now he’s 44 and we both have been looking into trying this in conjunction with our healthy lifestyle. I just read a review on it and you mentioned France, the same can be said for Italy as well – and speaking as an Italian-American, you know we love our red wine! lol. Thanks for your write up and the information about the lack of benefits for men over 65; it really is good information to know.

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  9. Agnes says:

    Increased oxygen, increases aging. More oxygen intakes isn’t necessarily a benefit. More cells, means more cell duplication too.

    I would rather look at the subjects entire health overall, and the neurological effects.

    Don’t just harp on one point in the study, look at the entire health of the subject.

    • jameskatt says:


      The problem is the term “benefit”. This is loaded with opinion rather than fact. Using “benefit” then skews the analysis of the data. It is YELLOW journalism in science.

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