Chocolate and Red Wine May Not Provide Health Benefits

A new study finds the antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine, chocolate, and grapes was not associated with longevity or decrease in heart disease or cancer incidence.

"It certainly did not cause any harm. It just didn't provide, it did not show any significant benefit from reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, as well as all cause mortality," Julia Zumpano, RD at Cleveland Clinic, said.

Preliminary evidence suggests resveratrol may have anti-inflammatory effects, prevent cancer, and decrease blood vessel stiffness. So, researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine studied the effects of resveratrol on nearly 800 men and women 65 years and older.

Urine samples were used to measure their resveratrol levels every 24 hours for 9 years. Results show during that time 34 percent of the people died, 27 percent of them developed heart disease, and 5 percent developed cancer regardless of their resveratrol level.

Researchers say resveratrol does not have a substantial influence on heart disease, cancer, inflammation, or longevity. Zumpano says more studies are needed, so she would not let the findings force you to make drastic changes to your diet.

"If you include a little bit of dark chocolate, red wine, and grapes in your diet currently I wouldn't make any change. What I would do is that if you are taking a supplement with resveratrol, that's where you could probably discontinue the use of that supplement," Zumpano said.

Complete findings for the study "Resveratrol levels and all-cause mortality in older community-dwelling adults" can be found in the journal "Jama internal medicine."

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