Resveratrol May Not Reverse Aging, Study Shows


Have you been pouring the wine liberally or indulging in dark chocolate for the health benefits? Unless you have an addiction problem, there’s probably no reason to stop the things you enjoy, but you may not be reaping the benefits you once believed.

Dubbed in the past decade as a strong antioxidant that can slow the signs of aging, all the hype about resveratrol may be just that – hype.

An 11-year research project, “Aging in the Chianti Region” studied 783 healthy men and women 65 years or older living in two villages in the Chianti region of Italy, an area where the inhabitants regularly consume red wine but rarely consume resveratrol supplements. The study found that men and women with high concentrations of resveratrol, presumably from red wine and grapes, in their urine, were no less likely to die or develop heart disease or cancer than those with low concentrations of the anti-oxidant.

It’s not the first time researchers have cast doubt on the reportedly amazing anti-aging benefits of resveratrol. One study showed that resveratrol extended the lifespan of mice on an extremely high calorie diet, but not those on a normal or reduced calorie diet. Other medical professionals have speculated whether or not the supposed benefits of resveratrol last after the body has digested it. And, finally, others noted that a typical human could not consume the massive quantities of red wine required to reap any benefit from the resveratrol in it.

This new research may put science a few steps further away from finding the magical anti-aging compound, but there is hope. The researchers who participated in the study noted that there are some health benefits from food such as grapes, wine and dark chocolate, including anti-inflammatory benefits. The benefits just aren’t coming from the resveratrol.

Lead study author Dr. Richard D. Semba, M.D., MPH, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement, “”These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol.”

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