Skip to comments.Substance in Red Wine Could Extend Life, Study Says
Posted on 11/01/2006 12:08:01 PM PST by neverdem
Can you have your cake and eat it? Is there a free lunch after all, red wine included? Researchers at the Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Aging report that a natural substance found in red wine, known as resveratrol, offsets the bad effects of a high-calorie diet in mice and significantly extends their lifespan.
Their report, published electronically today in Nature, implies that very large daily doses of resveratrol could offset the unhealthy, high-calorie diet thought to underlie the rising toll of obesity in the United States and elsewhere, should people respond to the drug as mice do.
Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes and in red wine and is conjectured to be a partial explanation for the French paradox, the puzzling fact that people in France to enjoy a high-fat diet yet suffer less heart disease than Americans.
The researchers fed one group of mice a diet in which 60 percent of calories came from fat. The diet started when the mice, all males, were 1 year old, which is middle-aged in mouse terms. As expected, the mice soon developed signs of impending diabetes, with grossly enlarged livers, and started to die much sooner than mice fed a standard diet.
Another group of mice was fed the identical high-fat diet but with a large daily dose of resveratrol. The resveratrol did not stop them from putting on weight and growing as tubby as the other fat-eating mice. But it averted the high levels of glucose and insulin in the bloodstream, which are warning signs of diabetes, and it kept the mice's livers at normal size.
Even more strikingly, the substance sharply extended the mice's lifetimes. Those fed resveratrol along with the high-fat diet died many months later than the mice on high fat alone,...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) extends the lifespan of diverse species including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In these organisms, lifespan extension is dependent on Sir2, a conserved deacetylase proposed to underlie the beneficial effects of caloric restriction. Here we show that resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival. Resveratrol produces changes associated with longer lifespan, including increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) levels, increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- coactivator 1 (PGC-1) activity, increased mitochondrial number, and improved motor function. Parametric analysis of gene set enrichment revealed that resveratrol opposed the effects of the high-calorie diet in 144 out of 153 significantly altered pathways. These data show that improving general health in mammals using small molecules is an attainable goal, and point to new approaches for treating obesity-related disorders and diseases of ageing.
Is it in bourbon? :)
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Hopefully "becoming French" isn't a side effect of Resveratrol.
I guess they're right. I had red wine last evening and when I woke up this morning I noticed that I was still alive.
The Wine List.
I have been taking resveratrol for some time now.
Wouldn't red (purple) grape juice do the same thing for those who don't use alcohol?
Perhaps it's more than just the red wine in the French diet as traditional French cuisine is rich in olive oil and garlic, also thought to have positive health properties.
Sounds good to me! What can beat a good Cabernet accompanied by a great, grilled Ribsteak?
LOL Me too.
One would think so as long as it is mostly real grape juice.
I'm not a drinker. The last time I drank red wine, I woke up the next morning with a pounding head and wished I wasn't still alive!
I'm hoping I can still get the benefits by eating grapes.
"One would think so as long as it is mostly real grape juice."
Yeah. The bottlers play fast and loose with words and pictures on the FRONT label - subliminals.
The resveratrol in food such as wine is very small- on the order of 100 micrograms per liter. To get a therapeutic effect, you would likely need to take much more (via commercial tablets or capsules), just like the experimental mice (25 mg/kg body weight) and the researcher in the story (5mg/kg). I take much less myself - 20 mg/day at 70 kg. Maybe I should up my dose?
Wine (and aged cheese) contains tyramine, which some people are allergic to. It's a product of the fermentation process. Grape juice doesn't contain much tyramine at all.