In Western cultures obesity has become a major problem. Diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoarthritis, have an increased likelihood because of it.
One simply solution to this issue in the scientific community is called caloric restriction, which is to limit what you eat. Several animal and cellular models, document that a 30-50% decrease in calories (or caloric restriction) can reduce the incidence of cancer and diabetes, as well as reduce age-related decreases in mental and physical functions in addition to improving resistance to stress.
The remarkable thing about calorie restriction, is that when you body gets used to caloric restriction, it acquires and improved metabolic profile and operates more efficiently. Many of these observations have garnered new studies to find compounds that can mimic caloric restriction without having to cut calories.
Resveratrol has been found to have the ability to activate the proteins that are activated when animals or cells have been subjected to caloric restriction. Human cells have been studied previously, but very few cells had been conducted on actual living breathing humans.
In a study in 2011, published in the journal Cell Metabolism (Cell Metabolism, 2011, vol. 14 page 612), researchers finally did a study on humans using resveratrol. Obese people that did not suffer from any other condition, where given a dietary supplement of trans-resveratrol for 30 days. Scientists then examined many physiological changes, including energy, fat storage and how fat was broken down.
The study provided the first human data that showed that resveratrol was providing the same important changes that where seen using caloric restriction. Resveratrol was able to reduce the expenditure in energy, improve health parameters such as decreased glucose concentrations, insulin and triglycerides in the blood, as well as improve the metabolic profile of the people taking resveratrol.