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Live Long and Prosper: Study Shows Ingredient in Red Wine May Extend Lifespan


New York, Jun 05, 2008

Looking to stop the clock? A glass of merlot may be the answer. A new study published yesterday indicates that some red wines may slow aging and extend human lifespan.

The study is focused on resveratrol, a natural compound found in grapes and some red wines. Large quantities of resveratrol given to laboratory mice appeared to slow signs of aging by up to 30%. In previous studies, resveratrol has increased the energy and athleticism of ordinary mice, and has even improved the health and survival rate of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie, high-fat diet.

This unique ingredient works by improving tissue maintenance, switching the body’s resources from fertility tissue to maintenance tissue. As a result, the incidence of degenerative diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s and cancer may be reduced.

The effects of resveratrol mimic another theorized way to slow aging: caloric restriction. Through a famine-like diet, similar results in the increase of maintenance tissue have been observed in laboratory mice. However, this severely restricted diet may be too difficult for many to follow over a long period of time.

Scientists stress that the anti-aging effects of red wine or isolated resveratrol have not yet been tested on humans. But in the meantime, for those who care to imbibe, red wine remains favorite drink for many nationwide.

Whether you choose a bottle from your favorite vineyard or something new, red wine is supported by standards that oversee safe manufacture. Several standards produced by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) address test methods for the equipment used in the delicate process of wine making, including:

  • ISO 5703:1979, Equipment for vine cultivation and wine making -- Grape presses -- Methods of test;
  • ISO 5704:1980, Equipment for vine cultivation and wine making -- Grape-harvesting machinery -- Test methods; and
  • ISO 7224:1983, Equipment for vine cultivation and wine making -- Mash pumps -- Methods of test.

These standards were developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 23, Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to TC 23.

For more information about red wine’s effects on aging, read the study here: A Low Dose of Dietary Resveratrol Partially Mimics Caloric Restriction and Retards Aging Parameters in Mice.

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