Benefits Of Red Wine and Resveratrol To Fight Heart Disease and Cancer
Is Red Wine's Resveratrol Really Healthy?
That seemingly magically ingredient in red wine, resveratrol, does not improve the insulin sensitivity or the heart health of healthy women, a new study finds.
By Annie Hauser
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THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2012 — Daily resveratrol supplements — equivalent to the antioxidants in eight liters of red wine — did nothing to improve insulin sensitivity or heart health in 29 post-menopausal women, a Washington University School of Medicine study published in the journalCell Metabolism reports.
But don't chuck your red wine yet — as this research only includes resveratrol supplements, not wine itself. In fact, there might be something else in wine that makes it so healthy, explained senior investigator Samuel Klein, MD, director of Washington University's Center for Human Nutrition, in a release.
Alternatively, resveratrol might only work when consumed from food — a relatively common phenomenon among supplement studies. For example, an analysis of 14 studies of omega-3 fatty acid supplements found that they do not protect against repeat heart attacks, stroke, or other heart problems while food sources of omega-3s do.
"We were unable to detect a metabolic benefit of resveratrol supplementation in our study population, but this does not preclude the possibility that resveratrol could have a synergistic effect when combined with other compounds in red wine,” Klein explained in a release.
In the study, Klein and his team gave 15 healthy women 75 mg of resveratrol daily and compared their insulin sensitivity to similarly healthy women who took a placebo pill. Neither group of women showed an improvement in insulin sensitivity, a key marker for metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Klein notes that previous data on resveratrol has been conducted in people who are obese or who already have diabetes, so there might be a positive effect in someone who already has a metabolic abnormality.
Resveratrol supplement use has skyrocketed in recent years, researchers report, as numerous studies linked red wine to heart health, protection from certain cancers, and even a reduced risk of death from any cause. On the flip side, heavy drinking can cause heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke, among other problems.
TELL US: Do you take resveratrol supplements? Have they helped your heart health? Share your experiences in the comments.
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