A long-term study is casting doubt on the supposedly magic ingredient resveratrol, saying that it doesn’t appear to impact health risk or longevity. The new study casts more doubt upon the health benefits of resveratrol, the red wine antioxidant that has garnered so much interest from researchers and the public over the last decade. The compound, found in red wine and chocolate, two indulgences that many of us consume with noble regularity, has accumulated some less convincing evidence in the last few years. Some animal studies have suggested that in high doses the compound may have benefits like reducing inflammation and extending the lifespan. Others, including the current study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, haven’t found many effects at all in people. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on it completely.
The researchers looked at urine samples of 783 people living in the Chianti region of Italy and measured levels of resveratrol metabolites. They tracked which participants died over the course of nine years, and of what causes. The unexpected finding was that there were no links between resveratrol levels and the risk of death. There were also no correlations between resveratrol and inflammation, heart disease or cancer.