Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine taken daily for a month provides positive metabolic effects on obese men.

Researchers performed a clinical test on obese men and found resveratrol appears to be as good as severe calorie restriction, says a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

"We saw a lot of small effects, but consistently pointing in a good direction of improved metabolic health," said Patrick Schrauwen of Maastricht University in The Netherlands.

Researchers found in previous animal studies that resveratrol alleviates insulin resistance and protects against the negative effects of a high-fat diet.

In a clinical test, researchers gave 11 obese men a dietary supplement containing 150 mg of pure 99 percent form of trans-resveratrol, for 30 days. The subjects were measured for the amount of energy they expended, the amount of fat they were storing and burning, including other tests.

The data result of the test found resveratrol improved measures of metabolism and overall health of the test subjects; creating less fat in the liver, lower metabolic rates, lower blood sugar level and drop in blood pressure. Test subjects also had muscles changes in burning fat.

"The immediate reduction in sleep metabolic rate was particularly striking," Schrauwen said. “Of course, in the case of obesity, it's not entirely clear whether burning fewer calories is a good or a bad thing. It does suggest that participants' cells were operating more efficiently, as they do following calorie restriction.”

Schrauwen said they chose to study obese individuals given their increased risk for type II diabetes. In future studies, he hopes to explore the effects of resveratrol in people who have already progressed to diabetes.

Researchers noted resveratrol supplements are already widely available, but more work is needed to establish whether they indeed have the potential to overcome the metabolic aberrations associated with obesity and aging.

"I don't see a reason for particular caution, but we do need long-term studies," Schrauwen says.