Resveratrol in Red Wine May Achieve Same Longevity Results as Starvation Dieting

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

How do the French get away with a clean bill of heart health despite a diet loaded with saturated fats? Scientists have long suspected that the answer to the so-called “French paradox” lies in red wine.  Researchers from industry and academia, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Florida, and the open-access journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE, report that low doses of resveratrol — a natural constituent of grapes, pomegranates, red wine and other foods — can potentially boost the quality of life by improving heart health in old age. A small amount in the diets of middle-aged mice had a widespread influence on the genetic causes of aging. Specifically, the low dose of resveratrol mimicked the heart-healthy effects of what is known as caloric restriction, diets with 20 to 30 percent fewer calories than a typical diet. The new study is important because it suggests that resveratrol and caloric restriction may govern the same master genetic pathways related to aging. The similarities were remarkable. The new study showed that resveratrol in low doses, beginning in middle age, could elicit many of the same benefits as a reduced-calorie diet. The authors noted that a glass of wine or food or supplements containing even small doses of resveratrol were likely to help stave off cardiac aging.

In the heart, for example, there are at least 1,029 genes whose functions change with age. In animals on restricted diets, 90 percent of those heart genes experienced alterations in gene expression, while low doses of resveratrol thwarted age-related change in 92 percent. The new findings, said the study’s authors, revealed how red wine’s special ingredient helped keep the heart young and stave off cardiac aging. Mitochondria, which are everywhere as the tiny power plants that keep a cell functioning, were affected by resveratrol which seemed to promote mitochondrial health and reduce the cells vulnerability to the oxidative damage that accumulates during the aging process. Viva resveratrol and pass the bottle!

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