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Resveratrol Study Shows No Signs Of Benefits On Healthy Older Women

Robert Boston
Washington University

  A popular supplement made from a component of red wine may not be beneficial after all, at least if you’re healthy to start with.

That’s according to a new study out of Washington University, the first to test the potential benefits of resveratrol in healthy older women. It didn’t find any.

Resveratrol has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease in animal studies, but limited human trials have had mixed results.

Study lead, Washington University nutrition researcher Samuel Klein, cautions that the results of this study can’t be applied to obese people, or those with diabetes.

“Our study was really evaluating women who are relatively metabolically normal. So we can’t say anything about resveratrol’s effects in people who have more serious metabolic abnormalities. And those studies really need to continue to be done to really evaluate the full potential, or lack of potential, of resveratrol supplementation.”

Researchers gave resveratrol to a small group of relatively healthy, post-menopausal women  for 12 weeks, and compared their metabolism of sugar and fat to that of a control group. They found no significant differences.

Klein says the dose, 75 milligrams, was equivalent to drinking 8 liters of wine a day. But the study doesn’t mean red wine itself has no health benefits.

“It just means that resveratrol itself, given in these conditions, 12 weeks, to relatively metabolically healthy people, does not have any evidence of metabolic benefits,” Klein said.

Even with little data on resveratrol’s health benefits to people, U.S. sales of the supplement exceed 30 million dollars a year.

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