Friday, November 03, 2006

Could it get any better?

My favourite newspaper, the Melbourne Age, gleefully reported that red wine may contain the elixir of youth - and to read this on my birthday as well....!!

A substance in red wine may prove to be the much-sought-after elixir of youth that holds back many of the effects of ageing, new research suggests. A study has found that lard-arsed mice on supersize-me meal plans lived longer and had healthier hearts and livers when given the compound, resveratrol.

I'll skip the scientific wah-wah about what compounds, molecules and nerd-factors were discovered, but apparently Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant produced by certain plants as a defence against the effects of injury and fungal infection. It is commonly found in grape skins, peanuts and mulberries (who cares, get to the important stuff), and is especially plentiful in red wine.

As we all know - and have been using as an excuse for ages -rinking red wine has been suggested as one explanation for the French Paradox - the fact that heart disease death rates are lower in France than in other industrialised countries with similar risk factors. A couple of years ago, some brainiacs found that yeast treated with resveratrol lived 60 per cent longer than normal. Their later experiments showed that the compound also extended the lifespans of worms and flies by almost 30 per cent, and fish by nearly 60 per cent.

Worms, flies and fish? Who gives a fat rats' clacker if they live longer??!!!! Whatever happened to the good old laboratory stalwarts like rabbits and beagles (just a joke, Joyce, just a joke....)

Luckily, the mice entered the experimental, resveratrol pocket-pen protector scene and also supported this red wine = longer life theory (as explained in my non-scientific paraphrasing way). Key Nerd, Dr Richard Hodes, has developed a formulation of resveratrol now being used in an early clinical trial involving diabetes patients. Plus he's got a nose the size of a red cauliflower, his hand shakes so badly the testtubes get emptied before he can fill them up and his wife has sent security guards over to frog-march him to a residential AA rehab facility.


1 comment:

The Elusive Loo said...

Red wine good for you? That's the best news I've ever heard. I'm glad I stopped by your blog! Happy birthday! I'm off to drink plenty!