Red wine benefits could replace your daily slog to the gym? It may sound like a dream come true for many of us, but research in the FASEB Journal, suggests that resveratrol, the healthy compound found in red wine, could help counter the negative effects of being a couch potato.
The study tested the effects of resveratrol on rats under conditions resulting from spaceflight and sedentary lifestyles. It may tell us something about the same effects on people.
The report describes rat experiments that simulated the weightlessness of spaceflight. Some rats were fed resveratrol and others were not.
The group fed resveratrol did not develop insulin resistance, muscle loss, or loss of bone mineral density. But the ones who did not get resveratrol did.
Resveratrol has often been cited as the secret to the French Paradox - the fact that French people enjoy low levels of cardiovascular disease, even though their diets are rich in saturated fats and oils. Some researchers think the reason for this so-called paradox lies in France's love of red wine, which is the most important dietary source of resveratrol.
What if you don't like red wine? No need to worry. There are non-alcoholic ways to get resveratrol. Other good sources include grapes, raspberries, mulberries, blueberries, cranberries and surprisingly, peanuts.
According to Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "There are overwhelming data showing that the human body needs physical activity, but for some of us, getting that activity isn't easy. A low gravity environment makes it nearly impossible for astronauts. For the earthbound, barriers to physical activity are equally challenging, whether they be disease, injury, or a desk job. Resveratrol may not be a substitute for exercise, but it could slow deterioration until someone can get moving again."
Resveratrol is a polyphenol and acts as a powerful antioxidant. It suppresses "free radicals" which can cause cell damage. Various clinical trials have indicated that resveratrol may have anti-aging properties. It has been shown to:
All good reasons to enjoy a glass of red wine.