Harvard Men's Health Watch

Red wine's hoped-for healthy ingredient fails a test

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Resveratrol is one of the potentially health-promoting substances abundant in red wine, dark chocolate, grapes, and some berries and roots. But in the amounts a person might imbibe in their usual diet, resveratrol appears to have no association with better health and longer life, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers took a sample of urine from 783 people ages 65 and older living in two villages in the wine-making region of Chianti, Italy. The amount of metabolized resveratrol in the urine was measured to find out how much of the stuff people had in their systems.

The study followed the group for nine years, keeping track of deaths, heart disease and cancer, and markers in the blood for inflammation. It found no relationship between measured resveratrol levels and lower disease risk or longevity.

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