People who consume diet rich in resveratrol are likely to develop cardiovascular disease

Published on May 13, 2014 at 2:21 AM · 2 Comments

A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol — the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries — finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant.

"The story of resveratrol turns out to be another case where you get a lot of hype about health benefits that doesn't stand the test of time," says Richard D. Semba, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study described May 12 in JAMA Internal Medicine. "The thinking was that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol. We didn't find that at all."

Despite the negative results, Semba says, studies have shown that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and berries does reduce inflammation in some people and still appears to protect the heart. "It's just that the benefits, if they are there, must come from other polyphenols or substances found in those foodstuffs," he says. "These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol."

The new study did not include people taking resveratrol supplements, though few studies thus far have found benefits associated with them.

Semba is part of an international team of researchers that for 15 years has studied the effects of aging in a group of people who live in the Chianti region of Italy. For the current study, the researchers analyzed 24 hours of urine samples from 783 people over the age of 65 for metabolites of resveratrol. After accounting for such factors as age and gender, the people with the highest concentration of resveratrol metabolites were no less likely to have died of any cause than those with no resveratrol found in their urine. The concentration of resveratrol was not associated with inflammatory markers, cardiovascular disease or cancer rates.

Semba and his colleagues used advanced mass spectrometry to analyze the urine samples.

The study participants make up a random group of people living in Tuscany where supplement use is uncommon and consumption of red wine — a specialty of the region — is the norm. The study participants were not on any prescribed diet.

Resveratrol is also found in relatively large amounts in grapes, peanuts and certain Asiatic plant roots. Excitement over its health benefits followed studies documenting anti-inflammatory effects in lower organisms and increased lifespan in mice fed a high-calorie diet rich in the compound.

The so-called "French paradox," in which a low incidence of coronary heart disease occurs in the presence of a high dietary intake of cholesterol and saturated fat in France, has been attributed to the regular consumption of resveratrol and other polyphenols found in red wine.

Kai Sun, M.S., a Johns Hopkins statistician, worked on the research. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Aging (NIA), the New England Research Institutes, the University of Barcelona in Spain, the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Spain, Azienda Sanitaria in Italy and the Instituto Nazionale di Ripose e Cura per Anziani V.E.II.-Instituto di Recovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico in Italy also contributed to the study.

Source:

Johns Hopkins Medicine

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Comments
  1. Richard Flemming Richard Flemming United States says:

    To try to diminish the health value of Resveratrol based on one small scale, non placebo controlled, now double blinded trial of a wine that is not even known for having significant amounts of Resveratrol in it is pandering to the big pharmas who own or virtually own the media.   A simple scholar google search will return over 100,000 studies, papers and investigations, including well designed human clinical trials which contradict this one study which was far too small to be meaningful, not double blinded, not placebo controlled, not randomised, and whose premise was flawed. One would not expect to find the metabolites of Resveratrol in the urine of wine drinkers.  The sulphated and glucoronated forms of this compound have a half life of literally 12 minutes.  It appears that big pharma is still determined to push their attack on resveratrol.  Why this one very weak and hardly compelling study was given any press at all is the question when it is contradicted by literally thousands of far better designed, properly run, scientific studies. This study was funded by big pharma. What do you expect in terms of conclusions? It is irresponsible of this news media to publish it out of context ,and without mentioning the thousands of other studies that contradict it.

  2. Bio Euro Bio Euro Spain says:

    Among other serious flaws, a huge fallacy in this study is the claim that the subjects consumed a diet “rich in Resveratrol”.  It is well known that red wine is not a good source of this compound.  The more concentrated varieties, not the ones consumed in this study, have less than 5mg per bottle of Resveratrol.  The average Resveratrol supplement contains 20 times this amount. Transmax, the supplement used in most of the human trials that show very positive health effects, contains 100 times the amount in a bottle of red wine. The researchers are not being honest or ethical in their conclusions, probably because the study was funded by a major pharmaceutical company whose products are threatened by a safe and effective natural alternative that they are unable to monopolize via a patent.

    www.touchendocrinology.com/.../resveratrol-management-diabetes-and-its-downstream-pathologies

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