Resveratrol, Once the Darling of Health Supplements, Fails the Test of Time

Feisty By Feisty, 15th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

For a number of years the benefits of resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine and chocolate, has been touted for its heart-healthy benefits. Recent scientific research puts that link into serious question.

Resveratrol -- What Was the Hype?

Some time ago scientific research pointed to a correlation between resveratrol, a polyphenol substance, and a longer life span in some lower level life forms. Resveratrol is considered to have the effects of an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer substance.

The key here, I find, is that word "considered" -- not proven, not shown scientifically to be so, or in what amounts.

Nevertheless, nutritional supplement manufacturers jumped on the band wagon and began selling resveratrol as a dietary supplement -- and consumers answered by buying more than $30 million of the supplements thus far.

Photo Credit: tribp CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

Recent Scientific Research About Resveratrol and Its Health Effects on Older Adults

Just as the headlines in major media once touted the supposed health effects of resveratrol, the headlines these days is that red wine may not confer the heart-healthy and longevity benefits once thought to be true.

Researchers published the results of a nine-year study that followed more than 775 Italians living in the community who reported to drink red win daily. A daily urine sample was provided by the participants with the levels of resveratrol in the samples.

The conclusions reached were that resveratrol did not positively influence any of the markers for cardiovascular disease, cancer or inflammation, therefore this polyphenol was not associated with any overall improvement in health or longevity in these study participants, age 65 years and older.

What Information Should the Average Consumer Take Away From This New Study?

In truth, this most recent study confirms that as consumers we must be more vigilant about jumping on any single research study to determine our health practices. If we had read more diligently in the past about resveratrol and understood that the health benefits attached to it were mere considerations rather than known facts, we might have saved ourselves a ton of money and now frustration at this new data.

Should we stop drinking red wine, eating chocolate, grapes, and certain berries and roots known to contain resveratrol? Not necessarily, as long as we do so in moderation and in conjunction with other lifestyle habits that promote our best health.


Chocolate, Nutritional Supplements, Red Wine, Resveratrol, Scientific Research

Meet the author

author avatar Feisty
Retired nurse and social service worker who has found new avenues for expression of creativity and compassion. I'm an advocate of common sense, an open mind and lifelong learning.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
16th May 2014 (#)

good informative piece indeed...many thanks...

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author avatar Feisty
16th May 2014 (#)

Appreciate the read and your feedback. : )

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author avatar Ptrikha
19th May 2014 (#)

I think the answer is something which does not require any scientific verdict or Rocket science research- It is have everything in moderation and be flexible.

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author avatar Feisty
19th May 2014 (#)

I agree with your assessment -- common sense and moderation in all things.

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