Health & Nutrition Corner: Canadian researchers point out resveratrol’s therapeutic potential

A few peanuts a day could keep the doctor away, says a recent study from the University of Alberta. The study indicates that supplementation with high doses of resveratrol – the polyphenol found in modest amounts in peanuts, grapes and some red wines – can improve the metabolic health of obese men. These findings, featured in the May 2012 edition of Journal of Physiology, contribute to the idea that consuming this supplement could provide beneficial effects in the body and as a therapeutic intervention.

While this study was tested on lab rats, the researchers believe the same findings can be seen in humans. The results proved that doses of resveratrol helped to improve exercise, training performance, heart function and muscle strength. In addition, changes in energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity were displayed – significant news for those suffering from weight-related illnesses.

Where do peanuts fit into the equation? While supplementation is an option for some people, simply including peanuts in one’s diet helps deliver a dose of resveratrol. This further supports the statistics that state peanuts are helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining cardiovascular health.

The research team at the University of Alberta is hopeful that they will begin testing resveratrol on those who live with diabetes and suffer from heart failure. Lead researcher, Dr. Jason Dyck shares, “I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise, but are physically incapable”. He says, resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.”

Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, continued research helps spread awareness of the health benefits of peanuts, and their contribution to a healthy and balanced diet.

Source: Journal of Physiology, May 2012