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HHS HealthBeat (December 6, 2012)

Rating the red wine supplement

Pouring red wine into a glass.

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

The red wine ingredient resveratrol has had a lot of good press in recent years – research indications that it can improve metabolism and reduce problems with metabolic disorders such as diabetes. But the research has been done on people with those conditions. So at Washington University in St. Louis, Samuel Klein tried it on healthy people.

Klein tested resveratrol supplements on 15 middle-aged women, to see if their bodies handled sugar – their insulin sensitivity – better than 14 other women who didn’t take the supplements. He found no difference. And he concludes:

“If you’re relatively healthy to begin with, there may not be any kind of beneficial effects in taking this supplement.”

The study in the journal Cell Metabolism was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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Last revised: December 6, 2012