Study questions health benefits of red wine

Drinking a glass or two of red wine every night is good for you—or so many researchers have said. They've pointed to the beneficial effects of resveratrol, one of its key ingredients, claiming that it may help prevent heart disease. Now, however, new research the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is calling that into question.

For nine years, researchers monitored a group of 783 elderly residents of two Tuscany towns in Italy. The participants recorded their daily food intake and provided urine samples to test their resveratrol levels. During the course of the study, 268 participants died, 174 developed heart disease and 34 developed cancer.

Urinary resveratrol levels, noted the researchers, wwere not associated with risk of heart disease, cancer or death. They also didn’t affect inflammation markers in the blood.

The researchers' conclusion: Don’t believe the hype. They believe that it is not resveratrol alone that may bring health benefits, but rather its combination with other ingredients. They also said it's not clear how much resveratrol is needed to have a positive effect.

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