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Wine, resveratrol and COVID-19: This is how “stupid science” gets unleashed

This lurid headline came to our attention this morning:


“In Vino Veritas? Wine Can Mitigate the Symptoms of Coronavirus, Scientists Suggest”


The first tip-off of hype came because the article did not include a link to the study. That’s an indication this was yet another “miracle by association” among wine, resveratrol and health that has long remained unproven.


We found the link — Biological plausibility for interactions between dietary fat, resveratrol, ACE2, and SARS-CoV illness severity — and sure enough, there was …




… of wine in a general context: “[t]here is consistent preliminary research demonstrating the potential for resveratrol to contribute to ACE2 activity. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound found in plant-based foods, such as red wine, berries, grapes, cocoa, and other foods.”


FACT CHECK: Scientists in that study … DID … NOT … suggest that wine could mitigate the symptoms of coronavirus.


There’s no evidence for causality here. No study of wine. No indication that the levels of resveratrol in wine could be therapeutic for COVID-19 or any other ailment. Or what kind of wine.


As much as I would like to think my daily consumption of about 250ml of red wine daily will help me if I contract COVID-19, that would be a bogus hope and a hysterical twisting of science.


Enjoy your wine. As wine. Not as a pharmaceutical.