The new study, a prospective cohort study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, assessed resveratrol intakes by measuring the concentrations of resveratrol metabolites in the urine, and did not include people taking resveratrol supplements.
According to the findings high urinary resveratrol metabolite concentrations were also not associated with markers of inflammation.
“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,” said study leader Richard Semba, MD, from the 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.”
Despite the negative results, Dr Semba added that studies have shown that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and berries does reduce inflammation in some people and still appears to protect the heart.
“It's just that the benefits, if they are there, must come from other polyphenols or substances found in those foodstuffs,” he said. “These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol.”
‘Very little to offer in the way of new or compelling information’
The study has been receiving widespread mainstream media coverage, but James Betz, managing director of Biotivia which produces a resveratrol supplement called Transmax, told us: “As a researcher who has been intimately involved in many collaborations with medical schools, private research organizations, and university scholars over the past ten years I am a bit appalled to see this study receive any attention at all.