Red wine can extend life and counter the negative effects of an unhealthy high-fat diet, according to a new study by Harvard Medical School.
A natural substance found in red wine can extend life and counter the negative effects of an unhealthy high-fat diet, researchers at the Harvard Medical School and the US National Institute of Aging said.
Researchers have discovered that a compound in red wine called resveratrol caused lab mice to live longer. Not only that, the mice also experienced a reversal in genes associated with heart disease, diabetes and other weight-related maladies.
They carried the study out on mice fed on a diet so high in saturated fats that it was equivalent to eating a cream cake with every meal. Mice on the fatty diet became obese, suffered health disorders such as liver and heart disease and died significantly earlier than mice on normal diets.
But when a second group of mice on the high-fat diet were given resveratrol, a plant extract found in grapes, their health and longevity were almost indistinguishable from normal mice, although they still became obese.
Resveratrol has already been identified as the chemical behind the so-called French Paradox, the phenomenon in which French people have low rates of heart disease even though their diet is traditionally high in meat, cheese and bread.
The resveratrol, had already shown the same benefits on worms, fruit flies and yeast.
"What we really would like to be the final answer, and can’t quite say yet, is that resveratrol will mimic the effects of calorie restriction," said Joseph Baur of the team of Harvard.
But the study on mice is the first to show that resveratrol has survival benefits in a mammal, Harvard Medical School said in a statement.(Agencies)