Speed Reads


Red wine's magic ingredient might not help you live longer after all


Apologies if you've just done a spit take with your daily glass of red wine, but resveratrol, the supposed wonder chemical in some red wines and chocolate, may actually have no health benefits, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

For years, the antioxidant was believed to have all sorts of incredible anti-aging effects, with studies linking it to lower rates of diseases, cancer, and so forth. It was also floated as a possible explanation for the so-called "French Paradox," the question of why France had low rates of heart disease despite relatively high intakes of saturated fats and cholesterol.

Casting doubt on all that hype though, the latest study tracked nearly 800 elderly Italians for 11 years, measuring the levels of resveratrol in their urine. The results: Resveratrol levels weren't predictive of "inflammatory markers, cardiovascular disease, or cancer or predictive of all-cause mortality." In other words, it wasn't shown to have any impact on overall health and longevity.

Now, this is only one study, and resveratrol research has found some conflicting results in the past. And as long as you're not chugging a bottle a night, there's no need to nix wine entirely from your life. Just don't expect it to save your life.