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Is Red Wine the Secret to Anti-Aging?

Over at CNN, the AP reports that red wine could hold the secret to longevity & may give humans the ability to eat high fat diets without risk. This landmark “study by the Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Aging shows that heavy doses of red wine extract lowers the rate of diabetes, liver problems and other fat-related ill effects in obese mice.

Fat-related deaths dropped 31 percent for obese mice on the supplement, compared to untreated obese mice, and the treated mice also lived long after they should have, the study said.

Even more amazing, the obese mice were as energetic, agile and performed as well on skill tests as the lean mice.

A substance, known as resveratrol, is found on the skin of grapes and preliminary test on mice have shown that very large dose of resveratrol could offset an unhealthy, high-fat, diet. The studies on mice have been so promising that the National Institute of Aging is making a strong push for repeating the experiment on rhesus monkeys.

"We've been looking for something like this for the last 100,000 years, and maybe it's right around the corner -- a molecule that could be taken in a single pill to delay the diseases of aging and keep you healthier as you grow old," said David A. Sinclair, a Harvard University molecular biologist who led the study. "The potential impact would be huge."

As a devote hedonist (I’m a ‘7’ after all) and a lover of all things creamy and delicious, this study is music to my ears. If the study results hold, not only will I be able to have my cake and eat it too BUT I can have my blue cheese, bacon and black pudding. As long as I have my 20 bottles of wine (which is the amount of wine you would have to drink to get the proper dosage of resveratrol), I should be able to consume to my heart’s desire, then go for a run or play some ultimate Frisbee at the local park where I will be able to out perform my friends who have wasted their day living in moderation and eating healthy.

Seriously, though - while the study sounds exciting (who doesn’t want a Fountain of Youth at the bottom of wine bottle?), I think we should all take caution. I don’t think the study is encouraging overeating or overdrinking [red wine], though some may read into the message of the study this way, especially when the Washington Post states that this may be “why French people tend to get fewer heart attacks and why severely restricting the amount of calories animals ingest makes them live longer.” For now I think we should take the advice of Dr. Ronald Kahn, President of the Joslin Diabetes Center who says to “have another glass of pinot noir — that's as far as I'd take it right now.

I just hope I don’t walk into my local wine seller to find that all of the prices have increased because of wine’s new anti-aging sediments!

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