Resveratrol research no reason not to buy wine

The compound resveratrol has made a pretty good argument to buy wine in recent months, as successive scientific studies have associated it with heart health and inflammatory effects in test subjects.

But new research from Johns Hopkins University has failed to reproduce those effects in humans - however, that is not the end of the story.

In fact, the findings from the latest study make for a good reason to buy wine, rather than the resveratrol extracts found in some health food stores.

Dr Richard Semba, who led the study, explains that the team did not disprove the potential health benefits of red wine, grapes and dark chocolate; they merely demonstrated that resveratrol might not be the compound responsible for them.

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

"These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol."

It may be that several compounds work together to confer health benefits on the consumer - making a compelling case to buy wine, rather than to try and replicate its effects using dietary supplements.

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