New information recently released from Italy calls the current suggestion of drinking red wine for heart health into question. Previously, resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, chocolate, and grapes, was thought to provide some protection against heart disease, cancer and to lower cholesterol. However, a study conducted in Italy that followed 783 Tuscan men and women for over ten years found no relationship between the level of resveratrol in urine and death rates from heart disease or cancer. In fact, those subjects with the lowest rate of reserveratol had the least chance of dying from heart disease. Cancer rates did not differ significantly across urinary levels of resveratrol. In fact, most of the previous positive data about resveratrol has come from in vitro or animal studies and some of that data was later found to be falsified. So does this mean we should stop enjoying our red wine? If your are drinking wine solely for the reported health benefits, then you may have to rethink your consumption. However, if you drink wine because you enjoy the taste and the health benefits were just a bonus, then continue enjoying it in moderation. I, for one, plan to continue indulging in a little wine in combination with a healthy whole foods diet and regular exercise not because of the potential health benefits but because I enjoy the taste. Until more high-quality research is available on the benefits of resveratrol, experts say they can’t recommend resveratrol supplements for anti-aging or disease prevention.
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