Resveratrol blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health in aged men

J Physiol. 2013 Oct 15;591(20):5047-59. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.258061. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Ageing is thought to be associated with decreased vascular function partly due to oxidative stress. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, which in animal studies has been shown to decrease atherosclerosis, and improve cardiovascular health and physical capacity, in part through its effects on Sirtuin 1 signalling and through an improved antioxidant capacity. We tested the hypothesis that resveratrol supplementation enhances training-induced improvements in cardiovascular health parameters in aged men. Twenty-seven healthy physically inactive aged men (age: 65 ± 1 years; body mass index: 25.4 ± 0.7 kg m(-2); mean arterial pressure (MAP): 95.8 ± 2.2 mmHg; maximal oxygen uptake: 2488 ± 72 ml O2 min(-1)) were randomized into 8 weeks of either daily intake of either 250 mg trans-resveratrol (n = 14) or of placebo (n = 13) concomitant with high-intensity exercise training. Exercise training led to a 45% greater (P < 0.05) increase in maximal oxygen uptake in the placebo group than in the resveratrol group and to a decrease in MAP in the placebo group only (-4.8 ± 1.7 mmHg; P < 0.05). The interstitial level of vasodilator prostacyclin was lower in the resveratrol than in the placebo group after training (980 ± 90 vs. 1174 ± 121 pg ml(-1); P < 0.02) and muscle thromboxane synthase was higher in the resveratrol group after training (P < 0.05). Resveratrol administration also abolished the positive effects of exercise on low-density lipoprotein, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein ratio and triglyceride concentrations in blood (P < 0.05). Resveratrol did not alter the effect of exercise training on the atherosclerosis marker vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1). Sirtuin 1 protein levels were not affected by resveratrol supplementation. These findings indicate that, whereas exercise training effectively improves several cardiovascular health parameters in aged men, concomitant resveratrol supplementation can blunt these effects.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epoprostenol / metabolism
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Resveratrol
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Thromboxane-A Synthase / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Stilbenes
  • Triglycerides
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Epoprostenol
  • Thromboxane-A Synthase
  • Resveratrol