Resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine and grapes, appeared to increase bone mineral density at the spine in men with metabolic syndrome, according to new data published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
“Our study is the first to reveal resveratrol’s potential as an anti-osteoporosis drug in humans,” study researcher Marie Juul Ørnstrup, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said in a press release. “Our findings suggest the compound stimulates bone-forming cells within the body.”
Research has associated metabolic syndrome with low-grade inflammation that can lead to bone loss. Because previous studies have shown that resveratrol protects against bone loss in mice and rats, Dr. Ørnstrup and colleagues decided to investigate whether this is the case in humans as well.
The researchers conducted a double blind, placebo-controlled trial in which they randomly assigned 74 men (mean age, 49.3 years, mean BMI, 33.7) with metabolic syndrome to oral resveratrol 75 mg (RSVlow), resveratrol 500 mg (RSVhigh) or placebo twice daily. Sixty-six men completed the study.
Results revealed a dose-dependent increase in the bone formation marker bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), with men taking RSVhigh experiencing a 16% increase when compared with the placebo group (P<.001). Those in the RSVhigh group also had a 2.6% increase in lumbar spine trabecular volumetric bone mineral density (vBMDtrab) when compared with the placebo group (P=.043).
A positive correlation between BAP and lumbar spine vBMDtrab was also noted.
No changes in bone density at the hip were observed, the researchers reported.
“In just 4 months on high-dose resveratrol, we saw significant improvements in bone mineral density at the spine and elevated levels of the bone formation marker BAP,” Ørnstrup said. “These are encouraging results. Additional research is needed to assess whether these bone protective effects occur in populations at risk of osteoporosis during the course of long-term treatment.”
- Ørnstrup MJ et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;doi:10.1210/jc.2014-2799.