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back to article Boffins debunk red wine miracle antioxidant myth

Saddening news from US researchers who have demonstrated that quaffing red wine doesn't confer some of the alleged benefits attributed to the tipple, specifically the ability of the antioxidant resveratrol to "reduce deaths, cardiovascular disease or cancer". Resveratrol is found in red plonk, dark chocolate and some berries, …

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For the Good of Mankind

"need to have such large amounts from red wine that you'd probably kill off your liver and be drunk most of the time"

I am willing to risk my liver if it saves even one life. Now where do I sign up for the red wine?

Rosie.

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Pint

Obvious nonsense

Dietary and Medical advice oscillates from one peer-reviewed, journal-published finding to the EXACT OPPOSITE peer-reviewed, journal-publish finding with a period of about ten years. This is a disappointing truth.

Google 'Trouble at the Lab' (in The Economist) for an explanation of what's behind the fact that about half of all such studies are reaching incorrect conclusions.

It's sad: The Death of (reliable) Science - at least in these under-performing fields.

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Re: For the Good of Mankind

Hi Rosie,

I would be willing to join you in the control group using white wine instead.

With fizz of course.

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WTF?

Re: Obvious nonsense

"Dietary and Medical advice oscillates from one peer-reviewed, journal-published finding to the EXACT OPPOSITE peer-reviewed, journal-publish finding with a period of about ten years. This is a disappointing truth."

Erm, no.

It's called "Science" -- it ain't Gospel, you know.

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Re: Obvious nonsense

@Jeffypoooh

It actually reminds me of a dilbert from the other day

http://www.dilbert.com/2014-05-09/

Where the CEO would represent the 'results' from a scientific journel, and wally would just be somebody who read it.

Another example of this scientific method is from Foamy (illwillpress) going on about statistics.

Quoted as best I can remember

"70% of all accidents occur at home. Well no shit, it's not like I spend most of my life there. OH WAIT. Of those accidents, most occur in the kitchen. Sure, electric appliances, water, tiled floors, burning hot surfaces I can see why. The second most accident prone location is the bathroom, hmm once again lots of water, tiled floor, some moron using a hairdryer while still in the tub."

I've also found this kind of method used quite often in many health studies. For instance a lot of the heart disease related to vegan vs meat eating diets do not take into account the activity levels of the individuals. Where most vegans I know of are very health conscious (and preachy) and exercise regularly, while most people who eat lots of meat are the average lay about most of the day, office job, etc.

Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent there.

Basically what I was getting at is that most scientific studies are set out to prove something (often a waste of money) and the scientific method used on the study will generally lean in favour of the result they seek to get out of it. It's very rarely I'll read a paper (that's become popular) which has an unbiased viewpoint, which is why when performing a study it's always best to get multiple references from multiple papers if you want to prove a point one way or another.

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Pint

Re: Obvious nonsense

And after that, have a look at "How Doctors Think" by Jerome Groopman, a rather, erm, sobering account of mis (missed?) diagnoses in tracking down and curing a problem that he had.

Confirmation bias, "that's the way it's always been", etc. (or, here, in the case of flip-flopping studies, change'll do ya good, as in spare change, lotsa money...).

They've done the same with coffee, diets (I like Garfield's "Diet is DIE with a T"...), vitamins, and over-the-counter supplements. All lining their pockets while picking ours....

(Yep, I'd like some cheese to go with my whine....).

I'd have some red, then white,...darn, no blue wine (yuck...curacao might not be a good idea afterwards :) )..

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Re: Obvious nonsense

Mpeler, wine made from blueberries is certainly available, at least in my corner of Leftpondia. Perhaps bilberry wine can be found in Rightpondian countries?

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Paris Hilton

Re: For the Good of Mankind

The John Hopkins findings may not quite mark the end of the resveratrol story, however. A 2013 Australian study indicated it activates an anti-ageing protein, although to get the benefits direct from the source you'd "need to have such large amounts from red wine that you'd probably kill off your liver and be drunk most of the time", as Oz genetics professor David Sinclair explained. ®

So if it's still (partially) OK, wouldn't that make it a near myth?

Sign me up for antioxidant testing....Paris volunteers too....

(Then that would be "plaster of Paris"....)

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Re: Obvious nonsense

"Dietary and Medical advice oscillates from one peer-reviewed, journal-published finding to the EXACT OPPOSITE peer-reviewed, journal-publish finding with a period of about ten years. This is a disappointing truth."

Strange, the original study that found benefits of *some* of the chemicals in wine also mentioned that consumption of wine at levels that would have therapeutic impact would also incur levels of alcohol that would erase all of the benefits, excessively so.

Research that is now around(ish) a decade old, but those few words ignored by the sensationalistic press.

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Re: Obvious nonsense

The original research papers themselves don't make such extravagant claims. Their purpose is not to sell advertising space, as is the purpose of newspapers, tv, and the web. That is why all those are devoted to dividing every thing in the universe into things that kill you, and things that save your life. With many things apparently on both lists.

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Vic
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Joke

Re: Obvious nonsense

70% of all accidents occur at home. Well no shit, it's not like I spend most of my life there

"2/3 of all car accidents occur within 5 miles of home. What's so dangerous about your town? I'd move if I were you..."

Vic.

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One more off the list...

...of miracle supplements. So what are the things that do mitigate the effects of aging? It's 2014, we (the species) have been studying the body and what does and does not affect it for a long time now with ever better tools.

But all I see are debunks.

Surely we have found some things that we can take which do help? So what are they? Surely there has to be more to fending off the years than just eating less and running. What cheap fixes actually do work?

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Re: One more off the list...

There is a simple, cheap fix: Low Carb, High Fat. Answers the 'French Paradox' too.

http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

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Re: One more off the list...

And I'd counter that with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fad_diet

Billy Connelly had the best solution: "eat less, move more".

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Boffin

Re: Cheap fix

Very easy... Match calorie intake to daily need. Make said calorie intake of a decent quality. Find a hobby that includes full-body exercising ( no...running is not full-body exercise, it's a warming-up).

And hit your body with the occasional shock of Bad Habit and/or Guilty Pleasure, because life should be about fun too.

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Re: One more off the list...

150 years doesn't exactly make it a fad...

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Re: One more off the list...

Exercise, don't smoke, cut down on sugar, red and processed meat, don't drink to excess, eat plenty of non-starchy veg, fruit and oily fish (but keep calories low). Avoid exposure to too much UV or carcinogenic chemicals. All those should increase your chances of living to your genetically-determined upper age-limit.

Really, this finding is only really bad news for companies selling resveratrol.

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Re: One more off the list...

I think everyone has kind of missed my point. I'm looking for a pill of some sort.

We have decades of modern scientific research. Surely some of these wonder drugs have held up as actually having a positive effect. Surely someone has decladed 'X declines with age, let's make a supplement containing X' which actually works. Everything I read is just "this thing doesn't actually work". Where are the reports showing things that actually do? What should I be taking?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One more off the list...

You'll eventually find out that what all this scientific studying and debunking has shown is that, in the end, there's no such thing as a quick fix. It's like building something. You can't just wave a magic wand and expect a finished result lickety-split. You have to do it the hard way: one brick at a time.

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Re: One more off the list...

I fucking hate bricks.

*tries to wish 4 stone away*

*and an extra three inches on*

Steven R

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Re: One more off the list...

In my experience, those struggling with their weight tend to be following the "eat less, move more" approach.

For those following the "low carb, high fat" approach, I don't think I've ever met a single follower who had a weight problem.

And there's the (in)convenient aspect that it's not just anecdotes backing this up; the science does too.

I guess the moral of the story is that when it comes to peer-reviewed science, the populist finding beats the scientific finding the majority of the time.

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Re: One more off the list...

So after doing all that and taking the fun out of life, what good is living long???? Rule of thumb: "No one gets out of this life alive. So enjoy it while you can."

I can only offer observation... sez those who know: "Bacon is bad for you".. My observation: Everyone I know over the age of 80 loves bacon and eats it daily. So who's right? Who's either had or having more fun?

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Facepalm

Re: One more off the list... @ h4rm0ny

"I think everyone has kind of missed my point. I'm looking for a pill of some sort."

srsly.. you're either trolling, or seriously deluded into thinking there can, or should, be something like that...

Logically, that magical pill should take away the need to excercise *at all*. If it were possible, it'd be standard fare at the ISS, to mention one particular place where it *would* be useful, however expensive it would turn out to be.

Meanwhile, can I interest you in the first volume of my quintology "How to Do Things Easy" , and should I invest in advertising space at the Reg?

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Vic
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Joke

Re: One more off the list...

Exercise, don't smoke, cut down on sugar, red and processed meat, don't drink to excess, eat plenty of non-starchy veg, fruit and oily fish (but keep calories low). Avoid exposure to too much UV or carcinogenic chemicals

You won't live any longer, it just feels like it...

Vic.

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Coat

Re: One more off the list...

The trick to living longer is not dying.

HTH

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Go

Re: One more off the list...

Biology is complicated. Aging is just a high complex system beginning to fail. The idea that we can reverse it with "a pill" is as laughable, if not more so, as the idea that Nixon's war on cancer was likely to win.

As said, lifestyle modification is important. Picking your parents correctly helps too. And enjoy life - it'll help you to live longer, and if you die early anyway at least you'll have enjoyed what you got.

EDIT: and don't smoke. Seriously, I look after dying 50-60 year old smokers and 80-90 year old nonsmokers. It's pretty depressing, and I can't even vent my fury as the patient tends to have enough to contend with (what with being busy dying) to cope with a rant about their death hopefully being less important than the financial wellbeing of tobacco companies.

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Just ignore them all

When you've clocked up a suitable number of years, you realise that the medical profession changes its mind and reverses it's advice on any given topic every decade or so. Unless some substance has a clearly demonstrable LD50 within an order of magnitude of the amount you could realistically ingest, the best advice is to ignore all the self-serving crap they put out. This has the added benefit that you'll worry less, be less stressed, and therefore probably outlive the worrying health fanatics.

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Happy

Re: Just ignore them all

and eat tasty food to boot. I will keep the dark chocolate and red wine going too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just ignore them all

Credas "LD50"

Acrolein? Is that you?

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Re: Just ignore them all

"the medical profession" - I can't let this pass. Most doctors are well aware of the insanity claimed as "now proven" by the popular press. There are some researchers who work on this, and are hopeful that their work will demonstrate a magic bullet - but they exist because the prize is so good, not because it is likely. They are heavily biased towrads the belief that they will be successful - you'd need to be to have a career of failures.

So once you've changed doctors for "health columnists or other opinionated fool" we'll agree wholehearted. Oh, and added the word "dietary" to "any given topic" - I believe that smoking was still considered harmful a few decades ago and the advice hasn't changed.

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Newsflash!

> red wine doesn't confer some of the alleged benefits

and none of the drinkers will care one jot.

If you like it and don't overdo it, that is probably doing you some good. Mentally if not physically (but who wants to live forever, anyway?)

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Happy

Re: Newsflash!

"....who wants a liver forever"

TFTFY

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Re: "....who wants a liver"

Are you offering a nice Chianti with this liver?

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Re: "....who wants a liver"

I'll bring the fava beans.

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It' s obvious really

Given the puzzling and sometimes contradictory results we must conclude that further research is required in order to resolve the anomalies that have been discovered by the present work.

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Re: It' s obvious really

Exactly. The absolute one time you want to hear a scientist say "more research is necessary" and they don't bloody say it.

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Pint

Hang on ... so he's saying it does work, but it's something else in wine that works rather than the resveratrol.

So we have to keep drinking wine as they don't know how to extract the bit which is doing the good work?

oh, what a pity!

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Happy

Well red wine and choccy are still good for me. Check.

But they're not sure which component of them it is.

Conclusion: The same compound in red wine and dark choccy that makes you live longer, is also present in belgian buns and bacon.

No one can disprove me! So I've got at least ten years excuse to get noshing on that lot, before the killjoys can tell me it's bad for me.

Would it be pushing the point to try and claim the same health benefits for M&S Percy Pigs?

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Coat

re. urine analysis

" ... the people with ... were no less likely to have died ..."

So, they were already dead when they took the urine samples?

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Coat

Re: re. urine analysis

Now you're just taking the piss.

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Coat

Re: re. urine analysis

Urine real trouble now....

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Re: re. urine analysis

I suspect that they took the samples, then followed up the patients to see how likely they were to die. But then, I've not read the paper either.

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Flawed experiment?

Perhaps they should have tested for gran reservatrol?

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IT Angle

To aid science

To aid medical science I fully intend to continue drinking red wine and when I clog it donate my body for them to examine. What we need is a control group of non-drinkers who will also donate their bodies. Any takers?

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Re: To aid science

Non-drinkers!? Wrong forum ;-)

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Pint

Re: To aid science

You can have mine. My body is a temple.

A temple of Dionysus...

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Re: To aid science

My body is also a temple; alas, it's the Taj Mahal on Bridge Street.

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Rejoice! - beer is just as good for you

http://www.camra.org.uk/article.php?group_id=13555

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Pint

Re: Rejoice! - beer is just as good for you

Excellent news. Have one on me. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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