Sorry, Red Wine and Chocolate Won't Make You Live Longer

Sorry to burst your bubble but a new study says all that hype about dark chocolate and red wine and berries is just that.  Hype.

Turns out they no more protect us from heart attack, cancer and stroke than M&Ms and Coke.

Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in these foods and beverages, once thought to be the elixir of long life, has, suddenly, turned out not to be such a godsend, after all.

Scientists have found that those who eat and drink the stuff live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant, according to newswise.com.

“The story of resveratrol turns out to be another case where you get a lot of hype about health benefits that doesn’t stand the test of time,” the Web site quotes Richard D. Semba, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study described May 12 in JAMA Internal Medicine. “The thinking was that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol. We didn’t find that at all.”

But here's where it gets a little confusing.  

Despite the negative results, Semba says, studies have shown that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and berries does reduce inflammation in some people and still appears to protect the heart. “It’s just that the benefits, if they are there, must come from other polyphenols or substances found in those foodstuffs,” he says. “These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol.”

Resveratrol is also found in relatively large amounts in grapes, peanuts and certain Asiatic plant roots. "Excitement over its health benefits followed studies documenting anti-inflammatory effects in lower organisms and increased lifespan in mice fed a high-calorie diet rich in the compound," newswise reports.
The so-called “French paradox,” in which a low incidence of coronary heart disease occurs in the presence of a high dietary intake of cholesterol and saturated fat in France, has been attributed to the regular consumption of resveratrol and other polyphenols found in red wine, it adds.
So should we just forget about chocolate and red wine?  I say no.  Eat and drink up!  If it makes you feel good, keep it going.



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