According to a recent study, red wine may not be as beneficial to a woman’s health as previously thought.
Resveratrol, which is an ingredient of red wine, was once thought to reduce the occurrence of heart disease. However, a study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine has found that healthy women of middle age do not experience any metabolic benefits from resveratrol supplements.
Dr. Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University, stated that although previous benefits have been seen in rodents, current data shows that healthy middle-aged women experience no metabolic benefits.
Details of the Study
The study consisted of 29 healthy postmenopausal women, 15 of which were given a 75-milligram resveratrol supplement each day for a period of 12 weeks. This dosage would be the equivalent of consuming more than two gallons of wine. After the study period, the women who took the supplement, and the women who took the placebo were compared. They analyzed the differences between their metabolic and insulin responses and found no significant differences between the two groups. The researchers also compared the effects of resveratrol in the fat and muscle cells of the body, again finding no difference between the placebo and test group.
The Truth About Resveratrol
Previous research indicated that the resveratrol in red wine was highly beneficial. The ingredient, which is found also in peanuts and raspberries, was shown to impede cancer growth as well as alleviate inflammation. Resveratrol was also linked to a significant reduction in prostate cancer among men. According to the Cell Metabolism journal, a staggering $30 million dollars is spent annually in the U.S. on resveratrol supplements.
Future Considerations: More Studies Needed
Many scientists, such as Dr. Matilde Parente who authored “Resveratrol”, believe that these contradicting studies simply mean that more research is required. Parente states that a single study should not be powerful enough to negate all previous research indicating the health benefits of resveratrol.
Dr. Klein does say that the study has not explored the effect of red wine on either women or men. Instead, its purpose was to determine whether independent resveratrol supplementation had a significant metabolic impact on healthy women. The results of the study do not mean that resveratrol when combined with the other ingredients in red wine, has no positive effect whatsoever.
Wine Still Boasts Benefits
According to the AHA, or American Heart Association, only moderate amounts of alcohol should be consumed. This is typically defined, for women, as one drink a day and, for men, two drinks per day. Individuals should also remember that resveratrol is not an FDA regulated supplement.
Despite the findings of this study, Parente reminds us that research has and continues to show that those who consume a moderate amount of wine do experience numerous health benefits, including a significant decrease in the death rate from any and all causes.