Monday, June 23, 2008

Red wine and aging

Here's a piece of evidence for intelligent design, or maybe the proposition that God is benevolent (Benjamin Franklin once suggested that the existence of beer is the best demonstration that God loves us). It turns out that red wine may be even more potent than previously understood in slowing down the aging process. It turns out that the resveratrol in red wine (not, alas, in white) by doing something similar to what calorie-restriction might do: switching the body's resources from fertility to tissue maintenance. It seems to be rooted in an ancient famine-survival mechanism.

Better to do it with wine than with starving oneself? Alas, the mice tests have used far higher doses than is found in wine itself. More discrete tests may show differently but based on what is known today, you might have to drink yourself into a daily stupor and them some to get enough resveratrol to have a significant impact. But people are developing capsules -- harder than you might think because it's apparently a fragile compound.

Still, a couple of glasses a day couldn't hurt (unless you're an alcoholic) and there are other health benefits too. Cheers!

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