A Reverse on Resveratrol?

June 19, 2014

In our Chapel Hill home care agency, we see many clients exploring natural ways to stay healthy.  One popular “natural remedy” is red wine, especially due to the alleged antioxidant effects of resveratrol.  Resveratrol supplements have been touted as away to thwart dementia, high cholesterol excessive blood pressure, etc.  The compound is found in grape skins, dark chocolate and certain berries.   Drinking red wine seems to be an ideal lifestyle choice for many seniors.  It tastes good, there’s a lot of fun around exploring wine, and it’s good for you.   Recent research, however, suggest, that the benefits may not be what we have been hoping.

A study examined the health outcomes of nearly 800 people in Chianti, Italy.  The people in the study did not follow any special eating plan, but enjoying red wine was always a major part of their daily routine.  For more than a decade these participants were tracked for both resveratrol levels in their body (through urine analysis) and for overall health outcomes.  Study participants died at a normal, expected rate, and those who survived did not show any higher levels of resveratrol than those who did not.  The scientists conducting the study concluded that they could not find anything to validate the common notion that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol.

While this may be bad news if you have been enjoying red wine to thwart the early onset of Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t mean that we should stop drinking it.  What the study did not provide is an alternative reason as to why people who live in European communities where red wine is consumed heavily show lower rates of certain ailments.    If they need anyone to participate in a new wine drinking study, I hope they’ll call me!



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