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Friday, February 6, 2009

Can drinking red wine extend your life?

Can drinking red wine extend your life? That is what researchers are trying to prove, but results are not yet pointing in their favor. A recent study on mice was conducted by the National Institute on Aging and though their study showed many positive health results, it did not prove that drinking red wine could extend your life.

You may or may not be aware of the compound found in red wine that is being studied, resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antibiotic produced by plants when they are under attack by germs. Although resveratrol is found in many plants, the highest content is found in the red wine, grapes and peanuts. This highly studied compound has been found to have anti-flammatory, blood-sugar-lowering, anti-cancer properties in rat and mouse studies. In some species of animal, mostly short-lived species, it has also been proven to extend the life span. Armed with this information, researchers are working diligently to find out if the compound can have the same effects on humans.

What the recent researchers did find was that resveratrol had some effects of calorie restriction, prevented decline in aging and obesity related cardiovascular function, reduced cholesterol and improved inflammation in the heart. They also found a plethora of other positive effects, such as better bone health, reduced cataract formation and enhanced motor coordination in the studied mice. All good news!

Even though drinking red wine might not extend your life per say, the health benefits seem to be clear: some red wine is better than no red wine. Just look at the French!

Resveratrol is also sold in supplement form and has been chemically synthesized. If you don’t drink red wine, you may still reap its benefits through supplements or eating grapes and peanuts.

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