Unfortunate news for those of us who love red wine and chocolate: The pendulum has shifted and some scientists aren’t sure that either one has health benefits. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “The antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine, chocolate and grapes was not associated with longevity or the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammation.” Over nine years, scientists regularly followed up with their 783 subjects to test their levels of resveratrol and the presence of any cardiovascular disease or cancer. The results: 34.3 percent of the subjects died (which was not unexpected because all of the subjects were over the age of 65), 27.2 percent developed cardiovascular disease and 4.6 percent developed cancer. Resveratrol levels were not linked one way or the other to any of those outcomes.
We probably should have seen this news coming. An article from the Harvard Health blog published in February 2012 noted: “Virtually all of the positive studies on resveratrol have come from cultures of cells or laboratory experiments with yeast, roundworms, fruit flies, the short-lived turquoise killifish or mice.” It should not be surprising that people respond differently from short-lived turquoise killifish.
We should note that nowhere in this study does it say drinking red wine is bad for you; it just won’t help you to live to be 102. So you’ll just have to go back to drinking it for the reason people used to before they were constantly bombarded with studies: because it tastes good.