Resveratrol Enhances Exercise-Induced Cellular and Functional Adaptations of Skeletal Muscle in Older Men and Women

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Nov 9;72(12):1595-1606. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx089.


Older men (n = 12) and women (n = 18) 65-80 years of age completed 12 weeks of exercise and took either a placebo or resveratrol (RSV) (500 mg/d) to test the hypothesis that RSV treatment combined with exercise would increase mitochondrial density, muscle fatigue resistance, and cardiovascular function more than exercise alone. Contrary to our hypothesis, aerobic and resistance exercise coupled with RSV treatment did not reduce cardiovascular risk further than exercise alone. However, exercise added to RSV treatment improved the indices of mitochondrial density, and muscle fatigue resistance more than placebo and exercise treatments. In addition, subjects that were treated with RSV had an increase in knee extensor muscle peak torque (8%), average peak torque (14%), and power (14%) after training, whereas exercise did not increase these parameters in the placebo-treated older subjects. Furthermore, exercise combined with RSV significantly improved mean fiber area and total myonuclei by 45.3% and 20%, respectively, in muscle fibers from the vastus lateralis of older subjects. Together, these data indicate a novel anabolic role of RSV in exercise-induced adaptations of older persons and this suggests that RSV combined with exercise might provide a better approach for reversing sarcopenia than exercise alone.

Keywords: Exercise; Fatigue; Fiber type; Mitochondria; Muscle; Sarcopenia; Strength.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Resveratrol
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / drug effects*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / physiology*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol