It has long been somewhat of a mystery as to why the French could eat a high fat, high calorie diet and have a lower incidence of heart disease and live long healthy lives. It was known that wine had something to do with it but over the last couple of years, compliments of Dr Sinclair of the Harvard Medical Center and Rafael De Cabo Phd., they may have isolated the properties that answer the mystery.
The key is resveratrol in the fermented skins of the red wine grape, especially grapes that come from cooler climates.
There have been published papers on the fact that people (or animals for that matter) who have calorie restricted diets live longer.
Resveratrol does many things for the body including fooling the body into thinking it is calorie restricted. Hence, the French eating high calorie, high fat diets (with wine) may live longer with less incidence of heart disease.
Here is some interesting information on various studies on resveratrol and the promising results.
– According to a study done by the Dept. of Science and Technology at the Ohio State University in 1997, resveratrol was able at a cellular level to inhibit cancer cells from dividing. It also demonstrated that the estrogenic activity was able to prevent post-menopausal bone loss.
– The Dept of Microbiology-Immunology NE Ohio University, College of Medicine, successfully treated hairless mice that had herpes lesions. Repeated tests with topical resveratrol had the same results. In the same year it was also discovered that topical reseveratrol reduced skin cancer by as much as 98%.
– In Nov. of 2006, Dr Sinclair and Rafael De Cabo, did a study on middle aged mice and the findings were extremely encouraging. The mice were divided into 3 groups; the 1st group was given a standard diet., the 2nd group a high fat, high calorie diet, and the 3rd group a high fat, high calorie diet with resveratrol. The 2nd group of high fat, high calories soon developed symptoms of heart disease and diabetes and shortened lifespan. The 3rd group with high fat, high calories and resveratrol had no symptoms of heart disease or diabetes and they were much more active than the second group even later in life. The third group of mice also lived up to 30% longer. (The standard diet mice faired as well as the 3rd group)
– In another study in April of 2008, patients who were treated with resveratrol before receiving radiation treatments, found that pancreatic cancer cells would die off during radiation sessions. This is very encouraging because pancreatic cancer can be very difficult to treat.
– Now, very interesting, what does resveratrol have in common with Viagra? They both open restricted blood flow. Viagra is limited to small blood vessels but reseveratrol opens both small blood vessels and main arteries. The circulation benefits of resveratrol may outperform Viagra.
– The reasoning behind resevratrol being hailed as the potential fountain of youth is because taking resveratrol regularly has been demonstrated to reduce and or reverse DNA mishaps. Aging comes about when cells can no longer replicate cell DNA and thus begins the gradual decline of the body. Resveratrol stimulates what is called the longevity gene (caloric restricted diets) and it has been demonstrated that resveratrol reduces DNA mishaps by as much as a whopping 60%! Even if it was 30% that would be impressive!
There is still much studying to be done on resveratrol, especially on humans but the research so far has been more than promising. A glass of wine a day can be beneficial but good quality, pure resveratrol supplements have the potential for great health benefits!