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!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
A grove of Acai Palms in Brazil
Acai is the new darling in the antioxidant world. Acai is a dark purple fruit smaller than the size of a grape and consists of a seed mostly covered in a small amount of pulp. This fruit grows on the Acai Palm tree and is found in the Amazon Rain Forest of Brazil. Acai has a berry taste with a touch of chocolate flavor so is tasty and inviting to eat.
Acai has been found to have about 10 times the antioxidant level of grapes and twice that of blueberries, plus it has about 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine (anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants). The Acai berry is rich in healthy Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 unsaturated fats, and has as much Vitamin C as blueberries. Other vitamins identified in the Acai berry include Vitamins A, B1, B3 and E in addition to potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
B-sitosterol, campesterol and sigmasterol, three plant or photosterols, have been identified in the Acai berry which have been shown to have health benefits in maintaining healthy heart and digestive function. It’s also a good source of fiber.
Acai’s nutrient mix may assist is:
* Maintaining healthy function of bodily systems and organs
* Promoting healthy sleep
* Supporting the immune system
* Act as an effective anti-inflammatory
The University of Florida has some promising new studies using the Acai berry in cancer research. Stay tuned for more good news from that sector.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )