Resveratrol Helps Build Muscle


From Ergo Log


When you do strength training your muscle tissue is continuously extracting stem cells from your blood so that they can then grow into mature muscle cells. An Italian in-vitro study seems to suggest that resveratrol supplementation speeds up this process.


Anna Montesano’s study, which was published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, is of a kind rarely found these days. The researchers studied the effect of resveratrol on muscle cells simply because they were curious about it. ‘Curiosity driven research’ is the name given to this kind of work, and most universities have almost outlawed this type of study.


In the second decade of the twenty-first century scientific research has to be ‘useful’. Universities increasingly compel researchers to undertake research that private companies can do twenty times better and faster. Whether this is ‘better’ for society is a moot point. The pace of technological innovation is still decreasing, despite all the ‘useful’ research being undertaken.



But never mind. Montesano wanted to know what resveratrol did to young muscle cells in test tubes. Their development process is shown above. Montesano studied the effect of resveratrol in concentrations of 0.1 and 25 micromoles.


Resveratrol speeded up the cell development. As a result, to start with resveratrol reduced the speed at which the cells divided. [Figure] But at the same time resveratrol also resulted in the muscle fibres becoming longer and thicker.



Resveratrol boosted the production of the contracting motor muscle protein Myosin Heavy Chain [MyHC], the most important component in mature muscle fibres.



Resveratrol boosted the amount of AMPK and of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 [ERK1] [ERK2] in the muscle cells. AMPK is a protein that becomes active when muscle cells have no energy left. ERK1 and ERK2 are proteins that start up processes in muscle cells in response to growth factors that are active outside the muscle cells.



AMPK and ERK1/2 regulate the development of muscle cells in opposite directions: AMPK stops anabolic processes, but stimulates the production of mitochondria, while extracellular signal-related kinases transmit the anabolic stimulus of IGF-1 to the DNA in the muscle cells. But it seems that in this case that resveratrol has a greater effect on ERK1/2 than on AMPK.


“Our data demonstrate that resveratrol could control proliferation, start myogenesis process and induce hypertrophy”, the Italians write. “Our in vitro studies may constitute novel proof of principle to potential applications of the compound to prevent or reverse muscle impairment by stimulating myogenesis, and emphasize new possible use of resveratrol to enhance muscle performance.”



J Transl Med. 2013 Dec 13;11:310.



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