The Truth About Resveratrol
There are more and more health studies piling up showing the powerful effects of Resveratrol. As we noted over 3 years ago (The Human Elixir), there are companies, such as Sirtris, in existence specifically to synthesize this molecule into an anti-aging drug. Supposedly Resveratrol helps the production of more efficient mitochondria, whereas most antioxidants only neutralize free radicals in the system. This is like creating a more efficient engine that pollutes less vs. sequestering carbon. Beyond this, there have been numerous tests showing Resveratrol’s ability to kill forms of cancer, help with caloric restriction, increase life expectancy through diminished probability of contracting diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and many say it is the reason for the famous French Paradox. As a result of all this press and consumer awareness, the market is flooding with Resveratrol pills and supplements, claiming to extend life and end all ailments.
However, interestingly enough, there is evidence that suggests that it is not the Resveratrol that gives red wine its health benefits…
There is supposedly such a small quantity of Resveratrol in red wine that it couldn’t have any type of significant impact, not to mention that the bio-availability is even smaller, meaning that most of the Resveratrol consumed is not absorbed into the blood stream. So where do the health benefits come from?
Roger Corder, professor of experimental therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute in London, has been studying the health benefits of red wine for 15 years and has written an interesting read called The Red Wine Diet. He proposes that it is not the Resveratrol, or even the anti-oxidants or alcohol that give red wine its magical benefits, but rather another set of special molecules called procyanidins. These procyanidins are showing to be powerful inhibitors of Endothelin-1, which is known to constrict blood vessels and lead to a build up of artherosclerotic plaque. Thus, a consistent diet of procyanidins will keep your body clean and functioning well. Most importantly, it is found that certain red wines produced from grapes grown in certain natural environmental conditions contain enough procyanidin to give you the powerful health benefits (such as those outlined in the French Paradox) in only 1 or 2 glasses of wine a day!
This is fantastic research continuing our alchemical pursuit of the elixir of life… and remember, it isn’t about living forever, it’s about living well. More research to come…Tags: elixir, Health, magic, mitochondria, procyanidin, resveratrol, Wine Your Diet