Well over a decade ago, resveratrol made its introduction into the dietary supplement marketplace. Initially, excitement about resveratrol was based upon the consideration that intake of it and other polyphenol compounds from red wine may contribute to the “French paradox”—the unexpectedly high rate of cardiovascular healthy in the Mediterranean population despite the relatively higher intake of saturated fats. Then, excitement increased with the understanding that resveratrol helped activate the SIRT 1 gene, associated with longevity. Since that time, interest in resveratrol has continued to expand due to human research demonstrating its effectiveness for joint health, immune health, prevention, muscle health, cognitive health, weight loss, and more. Now, research suggests that resveratrol may also be beneficial for bone health.
Preclinical research on resveratrol for bone health
Animal studies have shown that resveratrol prevents bone loss, reduces mineral density due to immobilization, older age, and ovariectomy, and causes bone healing and repair after surgical procedures or trauma.
A human clinical trial on resveratrol for bone health
Given these positive preclinical results, a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial was conducted to investigate the effects of resveratrol on bone mineral density (BMD) and on calcium metabolism biomarkers in type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients. A total of 192 T2D outpatients were randomized to receive resveratrol 500 mg/day (Resv500 arm), resveratrol 40 mg/day (Resv40 arm) or placebo for 6 months. BMD, bone mineral content (BMC), and other markers of bone health including serum levels of vitamin D were measured at baseline and after 6 months.
The results were that, at follow-up, calcium concentrations increased in all patients, while other markers of bone health, including vitamin D, were higher in both resveratrol arms, and 25-hydroxy vitamin D increased in the Resv500 arm only, without between-group differences. Whole-body BMD significantly decreased in the placebo group, while whole-body BMC decreased in both the placebo and Resv40 arms. No significant changes in BMD and BMC values occurred in the Resv500 arm. The differences of change from baseline were significantly different in the Resv500 arm vs placebo for whole-body BMD (0.01 vs -0.03 g/cm2, p = 0.001), whole-body BMC (4.04 vs -58.8 g, p < 0.001), whole-body T-score (0.15 vs -0.26), and serum phosphorus (0.07 vs -0.01 µmol/L, p = 0.002). In subgroup analyses, in Resv500 treated-patients BMD values increased to higher levels in those with lower calcium and 25-hydroxy vitamin D values, and in alcohol drinkers.
In conclusion, supplementation with 500 mg resveratrol prevented bone density loss in patients with T2D, in particular, in those with unfavorable conditions at baseline.
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