Monday, August 25, 2003

Red wine, olive oil and old age

A report in the New York Times suggests that red wine may contain a chemical that extends lifespan. The argument is that reduced-calorie diets seem to extend life in a variety of (non-human) animals and organisms. A chemical found in wine, but more abundantly in red rather than white wine, resveratrol, mimics this response. Meanwhile, another group claim to have found a chemical with a similar effect in olive oil.

However, the caloric-reduction hypothesis has yet to be tested on primates (although studies are underway), never mind humans. And the new work has only been done on yeast. So, don't hold your breath.

On the other hand, a scientifically-justified excuse for drinking more red wine? Marvellous.

Study Spurs Hope of Finding Way to Increase Human Life, New York Times, 25 August 2003

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