Sipping Red Wine for Your 'Health'? It's a Myth

Resveratrol's benefits overhyped, researchers say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2014 2:11 AM CDT
Red Wine Health Benefits 'a Myth'
Most villagers in the study consumed red wine on a regular basis.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Researchers still don't know why the red wine-loving French have such low rates of heart disease despite their fatty diet—but they're now pretty sure it doesn't have much to do with an ingredient in the wine. Researchers tracked around 800 Italian villagers over nine years and discovered that their intake of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and dark chocolate, made no difference at all to their risk of dying or of contracting heart disease or cancer, the BBC reports.

"The thinking was that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol. We didn't find that at all," the lead researcher says. "The story of resveratrol turns out to be another case where you get a lot of hype about health benefits that doesn't stand the test of time." Other studies have linked resveratrol to longevity and reduced levels of disease, but only when it is consumed in amounts much greater than that found in people's diets, the Los Angeles Times notes. (More longevity stories.)

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