In what will likely be a crushing blow to many it seems dark chocolate and red wine aren't as healthy as past reports have claimed. While some red wines do offer antioxidant aspects, it isn't a factor in staving off cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation or helping one to live a longer life. Neither does dark chocolate, sadly.

The startling news Monday, from a group of Italian researchers, will likely have some wine lovers rethinking their emphasis of red wine over white and not picking up peanuts, cranberries, chocolate, and wine while out shopping. All those foods have long been linked to studies stating they help keep a body healthy when taken in moderation and lauded for supposedly increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol.

The study, according to reports, involved researching death and disease among a group of seniors living in Chianti, a winemaking area in Italy. The group of 800 men and women were ages 65 and older. Researchers assessed diets, alcohol intake and tested urine for a certain metabolite, resveratrol, every three years for nine years.

The results were not encouraging: of the 629 patients who didn't have heart disease at the start, 174 developed it nine years later; of the 734 who didn't have cancer at the start of the study, 34 developed it at the nine-year mark.

But the Johns Hopkins University researchers noted that some other related health habits, such as red wine drinkers who also smoked, likely played into the results.

Previous research had indicated resveratrol did help to limit the spread of cancer and helped with blood clotting.

The good news is that the wine and chocolate weren't found to be spurring on cancer or heart disease issues. That's a good enough reason for a toast, even if you're now back to to drinking a nice dry Chardonnay. And just think how bad the red wine and dark chocolate makers are taking this news.

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