Resveratrol's Fall Continues: No Link To Reduced Deaths, Heart Disease Or Cancer
    By News Staff | May 12th 2014 05:37 PM | 7 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol — the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries — finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat a regular diet.

     That doesn't mean you should stop being delighted every time a new study affirms the health benefits of something you want to do anyway, like drink red wine or drink coffee or eat chocolate. Some studies have found that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and berries does reduce inflammation in some people and still appears to protect the heart. It just may not be reseveratrol.  And that may be why Glaxo continues to kick themselves over believing the resveratrol hype and spending $720 million for Prof. David Sinclair's work.

    "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," says 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. "The thinking was that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol. We didn't find that at all."

    But the studies...

    "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."

    The new study did not include people taking resveratrol supplements, but no quality studies have found any benefits associated with them.

    Semba is part of an international team of researchers that for 15 years has studied the effects of aging in a group of people who live in the Chianti region of Italy. For the current study, the researchers analyzed 24 hours of urine samples from 783 people over the age of 65 for metabolites of resveratrol.

    After accounting for such factors as age and gender, the people with the highest concentration of resveratrol metabolites were no less likely to have died of any cause than those with no resveratrol found in their urine. The concentration of resveratrol was not associated with inflammatory markers, cardiovascular disease or cancer rates.

    Semba and his colleagues used advanced mass spectrometry to analyze the urine samples.

    The study participants make up a random group of people living in Tuscany where supplement use is uncommon and consumption of red wine — a specialty of the region — is the norm. The study participants were not on any prescribed diet.

    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.

    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 could just as easily be due to having a mistress.

    Published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
    Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine


    The results obtained in this study are absolutely logical and do not change the current evidence for resveratrol. Resveratrol is a component whose contribution in the diet is unpredictable and almost negligible (even in wine drinkers). To claim that resveratrol does not have influcence on the all-cause of mortality would require the comparison of a cohort with 'normal' resveratrol levels (very low and unpredictable) versus another cohort with a standardized resveratrol supplementation. Regarding the contribution or resveratrol to the so-called 'French Paradox', nothing new has been said.
    -Tomé-Carneiro J, Gonzálvez M, Larrosa M, Yáñez-Gascón MJ, García-Almagro FJ, Ruiz-Ros JA, Tomás-Barberán FA, García-Conesa MT, Espín JC. Resveratrol in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a dietary and clinical perspective. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Jul;1290:37-51.
    -Tomé-Carneiro J, Larrosa M, González-Sarrías A, Tomás-Barberán FA, García-Conesa MT, Espín JC. Resveratrol and clinical trials: the crossroad from in vitro studies to human evidence. Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(34):6064-93.

    Perhaps it's because it needs to be taken earlier (in age)? With older adult humans, there's the chance that a lot of stressors from biologic processes over time (sun, high fat diets, lack of exercise, environmental pollutants, etc) have already affected organ systems. Reversal of that damage, as is understood about aging is not the key to living long. it's about preventing that damage from happening in the first place. If taken while young, perhaps the effects of right (and diverse) antioxidant administration (with food) will have the truly realized benefit.

    A simple scholar google search will return over 100,000 studies, papers and investigations, including well done human clinical trials which contradict this one study which was too small to be meaningful, not double blinded, not placebo controlled, not randomised, and whose premise was flawed. One would not expect to find the metabolites of Resveratrol in the urine of wine drinkers. The sulphated and glocoronated forms of this compound have a half life of literally 12 minutes. It appears that big pharma is still determined to continue their attack on resveratrol. Why this one very weak and hardly compelling study was given any press at all is the question.

    The campaign by big pharma to diminish the health value of Resveratrol in the mind of the public continues. For serious news media to chose this story which is so compellingly contradicted by so many other larger sale, double blinded, placebo controlled investigations, and so many human clinical trials which elucidate the compound's beneficial effects vis-a-vis type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and many cancers is pandering to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry.

    Except Glaxo is Big Pharma, they paid $700 million for David Sinclair's work. 

    Do you also sell probiotic miracle pills?
    Firstly, Glaxo tried to create a synthetic version of Resveratrol which did have side-effects. Sinclair`s previous work on Resveratrol was verified and substantiated last year.
    Secondly, there are hundreds of studies demonstrating high dosage resveratrol works. Not dietary because it is too low an amount. Sinclair just won the Time Award of the most 100 people who have influenced the world based on NAD+ and resveratrol research. NAD+ levels are restored through high dose resveratrol as well as his new research in using the compound separately.
    I think that the response of Sinclair to the study in the LA Times yesterday say it all. " "The levels of Resveratrol in the diet are negligible compared to the levels shown to work in mice and humans," said Harvard University researcher David Sinclair.

    If it does not work in the targeted fashion, and it doesn't, and it is too 'dirty' to ever survive trials - it doesn't trigger the SIRT family of enzymes the way flawed studies claim - then it's time to move on. Finding sympathetic mainstream media to print something is what caused the problem in the first place. That Glaxo bought it, ostensibly because the compound was said to help with diabetes, is the real travesty. But they are never getting that money back. They bought something because what they had to activate SIRT1 did not work - instead of believing their own scientists, they believed hype.
    What you don't link to are fellow Harvard biologists, like Gary Ruvkun, who cautions people, “Don’t believe anything you’ve heard about resveratrol!” And you don't mention that no impartial studies have found that resveratrol improves blood sugar levels or increases energy -  the two main claims.