Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Resveratrol: As if I need another reason to love wine!

If you are having trouble choosing between beer or wine, maybe this little ingredient inherently found in red wine will help make your decision.  Resveratrol is the anti-aging ingredient I'm talking about and it is found in the skins of grapes.  According to Wikipedia, resveratrol is defined as "a polyphenol and phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi." Well that sounds extremely boring.  So is this all a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but major research is being done on the subject and its coming out pretty good for us wine drinkers. The Mayo Clinic reported that "resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots."  This could explain the theory of the French Paradox, which suggests that the reason the French suffer significantly less incidences of coronary artery disease despite their diet which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol is due to their large consumption of wine.  Sounds like a great diet to me:  Cheese, olive-oil, and wine!  Experiments have been done on mice that show better heart and artery health, better bone health, more agility, a longer life-span, and overall weight control.  Resveratrol appears to be equivalent to a calorie restricted diet in animals.  Now this doesn't mean that you should start drinking wine for every meal quite yet.  There is still much to be learned about resveratrol.  Many research facilities are beginning clinical research and hopefully we will be getting some results soon.  Some people have already taken it upon themselves to start taking resveratrol supplements on their own.  There are pills available right now boasting longer life and weight control that contain resveratrol.  However it is unknown what dosage is appropriate to make a difference in humans.  As for me though, I like my wine and if their are added health benefits attached to it, that's all the better for me. 

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