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Resveratrol combats effect of unhealthy diet on muscle

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

May 16 2016. An article published on March 2, 2016 in Frontiers in Physiology reveals a potential benefit for resveratrol in counteracting negative changes induced by a high fat, high sugar diet in muscle tissue.

“Skeletal muscle phenotype is determined, in part, by the type of myosin heavy chain (MHC) protein expressed throughout the tissue,” explain Jon-Philippe K. Hyatt of Georgetown University and colleagues in their introduction. “The fiber types can be generally categorized from contractile speed and aerobic or anaerobic characteristics. Relative to fast muscles (with a preponderance of type II fibers), slow (type I) muscles are high in capillary density and mitochondrial volume, contain a greater propotion of aerobic enzymes, and are generally fatigue resistant.” 

Dr Hyatt’s team gave 8 rhesus monkeys a diet that was high in fat and high in sugar for two years. Half of the group also received a daily placebo and the remainder received resveratrol over the course of the study. An additional four animals of the same age received a standard diet. Five young monkeys served as controls.

The soleus muscle of the lower hind leg was the most impacted by the high fat and sugar diet and also benefitted the most from resveratrol, which counteracted the diet-induced shift from slow to more fast. The plantaris muscle (also in the lower leg), while failing to be affected by the diet, also showed a shift to slower myosin in resveratrol-supplemented animals.

“The maintenance or addition of slow characteristics in soleus and plantaris muscles, respectively, implies that these muscles are far more fatigue resistant than those without resveratrol,” Dr Hyatt commented. “Skeletal muscles that are phenotypically slower can sustain longer periods of activity and could contribute to improved physical activity, mobility, or stability, especially in elderly individuals.”

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