Background: Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic compound, was shown to protect rodents against high-fat-diet induced diabesity by boosting energy metabolism. To the best of our knowledge, no data is yet available on the effects of resveratrol in non-human primates. Six non-human heterotherm primates (grey mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus) were studied during four weeks of dietary supplementation with resveratrol (200 mg/kg/day) during their winter body-mass gain period. Body mass, spontaneous energy intake, resting metabolic rate, spontaneous locomotor activity and daily variations in body temperature were measured. In addition, the plasma levels of several gut hormones involved in satiety control were evaluated.
Results: Resveratrol reduced the seasonal body-mass gain by concomitantly decreasing energy intake by 13% and increasing resting metabolic rate by 29%. Resveratrol supplementation inhibited the depth of daily torpor, an important energy-saving process in this primate. The daily amount of locomotor activity remained unchanged. Except for an increase in the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, a gut hormone known to promote mobilization of fat stores, no major change in satiety hormone plasma levels was observed under resveratrol supplementation.
Conclusions: These results suggest that in a non-human primate, resveratrol reduces body-mass gain by increasing satiety and resting metabolic rate, and by inhibiting torpor expression. The measured anorectic gut hormones did not seem to play a major role in these observations.