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Red Wine Compound Likely Extends Life

I have written extensively about the potential benefits of resveratrol in red wine in the past as well as more recently. This study is further confirmation that my initial excitement was justified. Researchers found that resveratrol, a compound in red wine, acted on fruit flies and worms in the same way as a method known to extend the life of animals including monkeys--sharply restricting how much they eat. They say the chemical can extend the life span of every organism they give it to. Scientists have learned molecules called Sir2-like proteins or sirtuins, found in creatures ranging from bacteria to humans, are involved in the anti-aging effects of restricting calories. Resveratrol in red wine appears to help activate this protein. The compound could potentially increase not only individuals' life spans, but also their "health spans," which means they would live longer, healthier lives. However, drinking too much red wine will not benefit your health. Scientists are looking for a way to isolate the compound so the benefits are available without the added alcohol of red wine.

Nature July 14, 2004

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