On first glance, the study would seem to dash hopes for resveratrol, a plant extract that National Institutes of Health researcher Rafael deCabo, who was not involved in the current study, calls “a super-exciting compound.” But researchers have long suspected — and, in fact, found in many studies — that it’ll take a lot more resveratrol than can be consumed in food to influence such surrogate measures of health and longevity as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, or glucose control and insulin sensitivity.
Other studies finding health benefits to resveratrol supplementation have been conducted on people with established health conditions, including obesity and diabetes. Though a typical proportion of participants in the current study already were sick when they were recruited, they were a small minority. Most of those in the Chianti study were aging but healthy. And for them, consumed resveratrol didn’t help.