It’s tempting to do so, but whenever we attribute large health benefits (such as prevention of heart disease) to a single nutrient, the complexity of our physiology eventually calls the assumption into question.
Resveratrol, a substance found in the skins of red grapes, has become quite famous in recent years as the purported explanation for the apparent health benefits of moderate amounts of red wine. New research indicates that this assumption may be premature, and perhaps entirely mistaken.
Resveratrol — a substance found in red wine, grapes and chocolate — may not add years to your life, and it doesn’t appear to reduce the risk for heart disease or cancer either, according to new research.
“When it comes to diet, health and aging, things are not simple and probably do not boil down to one single substance, such as resveratrol,” said study lead researcher Dr. Richard Semba, a professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
The findings also cast doubt about taking resveratrol supplements, he said.
“Perhaps it brings us back again to rather tried and true advice of diet — Mediterranean-style — and regular aerobic exercise for healthy aging,” said Semba.
The report was published May 12 in the online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.
Red wine and chocolate have been shown to have beneficial effects on health, and these benefits were attributed largely to a single substance — resveratrol. Resveratrol has been credited as being responsible for the so-called “French paradox,” in which even a diet high in cholesterol and fat can be healthy if it is accompanied with red wine, the researchers explained