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Study shows Red Light to Red Wine

Posted: Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:16

Study shows Red Light to Red Wine

May 14: If the latest study by John Hopkins Medical Center on a group of elderly inhabitants of Chianti were given the cognizance one would think that red wine may not be as good for health as the hype created by hundreds of studies during the last couple of decades have suggested, with the researchers claiming no evidence that the wine ingredient resveratrol reduced heart diseases or prolongs life

Pic By:: Subhash Arora

Click For Large ViewThe researchers studied two small towns in the Chianti area of Tuscany with 783 elderly volunteers (over 65 years) taking part, starting in 1998. They recorded details about their daily diets as well as urine samples in order to measure intake of resveratrol, the anti-oxidant found in wine-especially red wine. Although resveratrol levels were only measured once, diet was reportedly assessed every three years via questionnaire and didn’t change much during the study - so the researchers assume resveratrol in the urine stayed somewhat consistent as well.

During the nine years of the study, 268 men and women died, 174 developed heart disease and 34 had cancer. But urinary resveratrol was not linked with death risk, heart disease risk or cancer risk. Nor was it associated with any markers of inflammation in the blood, the researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine, in which the lead researcher Dr. Richard Semba and his team from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland conclude:

" this prospective study of nearly 800 older community-dwelling adults shows no association between urinary resveratrol metabolites and longevity. This study suggests that dietary resveratrol from Western diets in community-dwelling older adults does not have a substantial influence on inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer or longevity."

The positive effects of resveratrol were brought out first during a TV Show’60 Minutes’ in the USA  in November 1991 when the French scientist Prof. Serge Renaud coined the term French Paradox as he and  Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, M.D., chief of preventive medicine and epidemiology and professor at Boston University School of Medicine produced evidence through studies that the French with an unhealthy lifestyle outlived their American counterparts because they drank red wine regularly as a part of their diet. Since then several studies, numbering perhaps over a hundred have generally propagated moderated drinking of red wine for several health benefits especially for heart, although a few studies have claimed some negative breast cancer impact for women as the consumption goes beyond a glass a day.

Ask anyone In Bollywood or anyone interested in the international cricket matches in India and they would tell you that you are as good as your performance in the last movie or the match. Despite the several studies showing positive results, there seems to be a tsunami of news reports in the media which do not decry the report and do not underline its conclusion that no visible benefits of red wine consumption was observed . More importantly, the researchers have put a rider that further research is necessary to get a definitive answer.

Teresa Fung, a nutrition researcher at Simmons College in Boston was not involved in the new study but she was not surprised by its findings. She doesn’t think one would expect the amount of resveratrol found in a normal diet to have a detectable effect on health.“I don’t see evidence that we should go after this by drinking wine, eating grapes or anything like that,” she said, adding that grapes can still be part of a healthy diet along with wine and chocolate but in moderation. She also said there may be some detectable health effects from much larger doses of resveratrol, but that remains to be seen.“Even at pharmaceutical doses those studies aren’t trending in one direction or another,” she said.

The British Heart Foundation is also carrying out a resveratrol study the results of which will be published in delWine when announced.

For one of the earlier reports, visit


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