The use of resveratrol supplements during may increase the risk of pancreatic problems in unborn babies, warned a recent study.
Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University's Oregon National Primate Research Center and the University of Colorado-Denver have warned against use of resveratrol supplements. It is a plant compound found in the skin of red grapes and in peanuts and berries.
The research suggested that resveratrol supplements are not only safe but can also render anti-ageing and other health benefits. In the pilot studies on monkeys, the pregnant monkeys who were given the supplement caused significant developmental abnormalities in the pancreas of offspring.
The resveratrol supplement is available in pharmacies and health food stores for years and it has a wide range of health benefits. The compound is thought to be an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory. All of the previous studies had found it to be safe in humans.
This time, the researchers were focusing on some of those potential benefits when they began studying the compound in monkeys. The research found that resveratrol did provide some real benefits in the pregnant monkeys, including improved blood flow through the placenta to the foetus. Placental abnormalities contribute to many of the pregnancy complications and health issues with babies of obese women who eat an unhealthy diet.
The researchers were surprised to find an effect resveratrol had on the development of the pancreas in the monkey foetus, as the pancreas is critical for the body's regulation of blood glucose.
The study has been published in the FASEB Journal.
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