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Healthy Women Do Not Benefit from Red Wine: Study

Update Date: Oct 27, 2012 08:35 AM EDT

There have been many studies which claimed and suggested the benefits of consuming red wine in moderate quantities. It is basically because of an element present in the drink called resveratrol, which has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and increase life expectancy.

Ever since some studies have claimed such health benefits of the element, sales of purified resveratrol, a supplement of red wine, soared dramatically in the belief that it could give the same benefits as consumption of red wine, minus the downsides of alcohol content in the wine.

However, scientists warn that according to a new study, the supplement may not give the same health benefits of the drink and may not protect middle-aged women against a range of life-threatening conditions.

It is the skin of red grapes that contain resveratrol and it is said that a glass of wine a day is the reason behind the good health and long life of the French.

However, when a study of healthy post-menopausal women was conducted, it was found that those who were taking over-the-counter resveratrol supplement had no additional health benefits when compared to those who took a dummy pill.

The researchers, from Washington University, believe that there may be some other element in red wine which reduces the risk of drinkers contracting heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses.

For the study, the women participants were administered 75mg of resveratrol every day, the same amount they would get from drinking eight litres of red wine. The insulin sensitivity of these women was then compared to women who received a placebo.

"Resveratrol supplements have become popular because studies in cells and rodents show it can prevent or reverse certain health problems like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. But our data demonstrate it does not have metabolic benefits in relatively healthy, middle-aged women," study co-author Dr. Samuel Klein was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

"Few studies have evaluated the effects of resveratrol in people. Those studies were conducted in people with diabetes, older adults with impaired glucose tolerance or obese people who had more metabolic problems than the women we studied. So it is possible that resveratrol could have beneficial effects in people who are more metabolically abnormal than the women who participated in the study," he added.

The results were published online in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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