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Resveratrol in Red Wine Not Linked to Cancer Risk

Red Wine Glass with Window in backgroundThe phytochemical resveratrol is one of the many compounds found in red wine, grapes and cocoa. In laboratory studies, resveratrol has shown antioxidant and other cancer-protective properties. An Italian study published this month suggests that resveratrol alone, taken in mostly from red wine, does not reduce the risk of cancer or heart disease among older adults.

The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

At the start of the study, researchers measured resveratrol levels in urine samples of almost 800 men and women, all ages 65 or older.  Researchers also used data the particpants had given on lifestyle factors, daily alcohol intake, and other relevant risk factors.

After nine years about a third of the participants had died. Another quarter had developed cardiovascular disease and 5 percent had developed cancer. Levels of resveratrol was not associated with death, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Levels of the phytochemical were also not linked to markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein.

Urinary resveratrol levels were significantly associated with alcohol intake, most likely from wine. The study population is located in a wine-growing region of Tuscany, the authors point out. 

Source: Semba RD et al. "Resveratrol Levels and All-Cause Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Adults." JAMA Intern Med. 2014 May 12. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1582. [Epub ahead of print]

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