'French Paradox' And Red Wine Debunked by Recent University Study

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By Silvana Peters | May 13, 2014 4:48 PM EST


An employee holds a bottle of cava at a wine shop in Alella, near Barcelona October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea

For years it was believed that red wine has several health benefits due to antioxidant resveratrol, which has been cited as a possible explanation for the 'French Paradox."

But a recent research released by the John Hopkins University indicated resveratrol present in chocolates and red wine is not responsible for improving longevity. According to the new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal Monday, "Resveratrol levels achieved with a Western diet did not have a substantial influence on health status and mortality risk."

The study sought to determine whether resveratrol levels achieved with diet are associated with inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular disease and mortality in humans.

Researchers analyzed 783 adults in Italy aged 65 and older for 9 years. Experts then concluded that resveratrol was not seen to have a substantial influence on heart disease, cancer, inflammation or longevity.

"We looked at the relationship between resveratrol levels and many health outcomes that are thought to be related to resveratrol, such as cancer and heart disease and lifespan. And we found no relationship," quoted CNN of Dr. Richard Semba, study author and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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

"It's just that the benefits, if they are there, must come from other polyphenols or substances found in those foodstuffs." he said.

Nutrition Researcher Teresa Fung of Boston's Simmons College told Reuters the results of the study were not surprising. Grapes, red wine and chocolates are not health hazards that can be consumed as part of a diet as long as it's done in moderation.

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An employee holds a bottle of cava at a wine shop in Alella, near Barcelona October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea
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