Researchers Disprove Resveratrol’s Health Benefits

July 19, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. antioxidant /ˌæn tiˈɒk sɪ dənt/ (n.) – a substance that helps eliminate harmful chemicals in the body
Example: Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants.

2. inflammation /ˌɪn fləˈmeɪ ʃən/ (n.) – a physical condition characterized by redness, pain, or enlargement
Example: Lack of proper hygiene can lead to skin inflammation.

3. certainty /ˈsɜr tn ti/ (n.) – state of being sure or definite
Example: The scientists had certainty that the experiment will succeed.

4. envision /ɛnˈvɪʒ ən/ (v.) – to imagine or expect something to happen in the future
Example: Medical experts envision easier ways to cure major diseases.

5. attest /əˈtɛst/ (v.) – to confirm that something is true
Example: Several evidence and statements attest the truth of the researcher’s claim.


Read the text below.
A recent study shows that consuming an antioxidant commonly found in chocolate and red wine does not assure a longer and healthier life. 

This antioxidant called “resveratrol” became popular after some studies revealed it can prolong lifespan and reduce inflammation in the body. However, some scientists still doubt the certainty of these health benefits, as the previous studies used mice and other animals that were injected with high doses of the antioxidant.

To verify the past studies’ claims, the researchers examined urine samples from 783 people located in Chianti [kee-AHN-tee] region, Italy. The urine data determined the level of resveratrol in a person’s body.

After nine years, the researchers compared these resveratrol levels with the clinical findings of the participants who had already died. Results showed that the resveratrol level is not related to the risk of death. Resveratrol also has no link with inflammation, heart disease, or cancer. Surprisingly, lower rates of diseases came from people with lower amount of resveratrol in their bodies.

Richard Semba, the study’s lead author, remarked that resveratrol did not turn out to be as effective as how many scientists envisioned it to be.

Another explanation came from David Sinclair [sin-KLAIR] of Harvard University, one of the leading researchers about resveratrol. Sinclair said that the amount of resveratrol in a person’s diet is very minimal compared with what was used for the animal samples in previous studies.

If there were people who can attest to resveratrol’s effectiveness, Semba said that the notable health benefits probably came from other substances and not just from the antioxidant.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think resveratrol’s popularity will fade out because of this study? Why or why not?
·         Which study would you believe, the previous ones or the recent one? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         How does proper diet affect one’s lifestyle?
·         Aside from food, how else can a person prolong his/her life and avoid getting diseases? Please explain.

July 19, 2014