Resveratrol can do more for your health than just help your heart

By Macaela Mackenzie
Updated: May 16, 2016

Ever since science declared that compounds found in red wine are good for us, we've been even bigger fans of the heart-healthy beverage. (Here, The Definitive *Truth* About Wine and Its Health Benefits.) But we should be reaching for the malbec for an entirely new reason, according to a new study (well, besides the fact that 2 Glasses of Wine Before Bed Helps You Lose Weight.)

Reserveratrol (which is also plentiful in blueberries and raspberries) is a polyphenol compound with serious antioxidant properties, which several previous studies have linked to everything from lowered risk of heart disease and stroke, to lower cholesterol and even lowered risk of cancer. And now, research published in the journal Frontiers In Physiology is adding some major muscle benefits to the list.

Researchers at Georgetown University explored how resveratrol might help to mitigate the effects of eating those high-fat, high-sugar foods that always seem so tempting at the end of a long week. (Ready Why Drunk You Wants All the Food.) In their study-which was done in monkeys-they fed one group a healthy, balanced diet (you on a good day) and the other group a diet high in sugar and fat (you on a calories-don't-count-on-the-weekend binge). Then they gave half of each group a resveratrol supplement.

The researchers specifically wanted to measure how the resveratrol might impact our muscles, which can be negatively affected by eating crappy foods. (Find out How Alcohol Messes with Your Fitness Goals.) After biopsying three different muscle groups in the monkeys, the researchers concluded that resveratrol-rich foods undo the damage of a high-fat, high-sugar diet, especially in "slow" muscle groups, which are responsible for standard, everyday activities like walking or standing, as opposed to "fast" muscles used for activities like running.

Of course, this isn't an excuse to keep eating foods you shouldn't as long as you're washing them down with a bottle of red. But it does make a case for having a glass of cab over a beer when you're going to treat yourself to fries at happy hour.

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