By Kevin Leland
“The only difference between poison and medicine, is the dose.”
It hasn’t been long since the Dietary Guidelines told us that drinking red wine in moderation could in fact be healthy for us. Our arteries are kept in good condition as the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) are increased by the temperate amount of alcohol and the antioxidants found in red wine.
Now scientists have discovered that another compound found in red wine, called Resveratrol, may be tied to some incredibly healthy effects, that could be likened to the fountain of youth. It has extended the lifespan of lab mice 30%. Not only do these mice live significantly longer, but their overall health and energy levels are greatly increased. The occurrence of diseases like cancer and heart disease is greatly reduced.
Theoretically, if it be synthetically produced in a high enough concentration, and cleared for human consumption, it is expected to be the 21st century’s miracle drug…as Viagra was to the 20th.
How does Resveratrol work to prolong a healthy life?
It seems to start with the French Paradox. This is the phenomenon that French people, who drink a lot of red wine but eat a lot of fatty, high cholesterol food, have a very low incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments that generally affect those over fifty years old. Overall life expectancy is 82 years in France, compared to the United States at under 79. However, this is from the 2011 CIA fact book, and take many other factors into consideration.
Working from a laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Christoph Westphal and his business partner, David Sinclair, a biochemist at Harvard tried at random thousands of different compounds until they struck gold with Resveratrol. The discoverers claim that this compound activates a gene they call the survival gene, the sirtuin gene -and this in turn keeps the body up, doing a better job of fighting off disease. It may have to do with the properties within a grape that allows it to fight off disease, mold and so on.
This same gene is activated when very low amounts of calories are taken in, while activity levels are kept high. This is tied to an older theory that your body has a built in calorie counter that is tied to life span. This theory stated very basically, is that you live by how many calories that you take in. It turns out there was an element of truth to this theory. Now it has been discovered that just a period of fasting can turn on that survival gene, and add to good health and longer life…without the need for the Resveratrol compound.
We will have to wait for more studies, more FDA approval, and in total, we probably need to wait about five years for the prescription form. Let’s hope this super drug can do what it claims. While we wait, it is good to try periods of fasting. Of course we can still take in trace amounts of Resveratrol by sipping red wine. However, we would need to consume about 500 glasses a day to get enough of a dose to have an effect.
The problem scientists are working on now, is to find the proper dose of this compound. As our friend paracelsus -who died of natural causes at only 47 years old- tells us: Medicine is all in the dose.
To find some of this supplement in the products on the market today, check out Amazon.com by clicking the picture above.
- A compound in red grapes, including red wine, counteracts exercise benefits in older men (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Red wine “wonder pill” undoes effects of exercise (thedrinksbusiness.com)
- Red Wine Compound Blocks Exercise Benefits (medindia.net)
- Effects of Resveratrol on Exercising (mcphsnaturalproducts.wordpress.com)
- One More Reason Why The Wine Industry Needs To Get Off Its Lazy A** (wineindustryinsight.com)
- The Health Benefits of Red Wine Resveratrol (wine.answers.com)
- Resveratrol In Red Wine May Lower The Risk For Breast Cancer (breastcancer.answers.com)
- Cheers To Wine (cottesg.wordpress.com)
- Benefits and Side Effects of Resveratrol (rslumanman1999.wordpress.com)