|Aging|| Premature/Signs of Aging
| ||Dr. David Sinclair, a pathology professor at Harvard Medical School and his students have uncovered is a survival gene that can be "switched on" to become a longevity gene. The gene increases the production of an enzyme that prolongs the time a living cell has to repair its DNA genetic material. This enzyme is normally produced when the survival of living cells is threatened by starvation, exposure to germs or bombardment by solar ultraviolet radiation. |
In a plant model, the skin of a grape increases the plants production of the enzyme which produces a protective molecule called resveratrol. It is resveratrol, when given to yeast cells, fruit flies, worms and mice that extends life by a whopping 70%. Humans have the similar survival gene.
Studies point to this miraculous molecule as a potential cure for cancer, heart disease, age-related brain disorders, and much more. Resveratrol inhibits fungal infection, raises HDL "good" cholesterol, lowers PSA levels in males, raises immunity, controls blood pressure, preserves red blood cells, prevents blood clots and inhibits inflammation. These results could potentially be obtained by taking only about 3 - 5mg of resveratrol, about the amount provided in a 5-ounce glass of red wine. This should preferably be from pinot noir grapes grown in northern latitudes like New York, Oregon and Washington, that generally yield more resveratrol than other varieties.
The fermentation process extracts resveratrol from the skin of a red or purple grape and then it is kept from spoilage in a nitrogen-flushed bottle. The air doesn't get to the resveratrol in a bottle of wine so it can't oxidize. Grape skins provide resveratrol, but not in an extracted form. Due to processing, grape juice provides little resveratrol. Sun-dried raisins also contain no resveratrol due to oxidation by sun rays. The same is true for resveratrol pills which are widely marketed. Their resveratrol content, extracted from the Giant Knotweed plant (also called fo-ti in Asian cultures) for use in dietary supplements, is nil. Sinclair has tested a number of brands of resveratrol pills and their resveratrol content was zero. The resveratrol disappears soon after exposure to air during encapsulation. For now, red wine is the only reliable source of resveratrol. White wine has ten times less resveratrol.
Until further research confirms these benefits, selected individuals may do well to drink a glass of red wine each day.
Osteoporosis / Risk
| ||ASN Spokesperson Stephanie Atkinson, PhD, explained the study which looked at the effects of alcohol on bone mineral density in older people, and said that "moderate alcohol consumption was shown to contribute to stronger bones (measured as hip and spine bone mineral density). The positive effect on bone was most notable at 1-3 glasses of beer in men and more than 2 glasses of wine or liquor (but not beer) for women. The bone preserving ingredients may be the silicon in beer and resveratrol in wine in addition to the alcohol. Such positive effects on bone must be balanced against the risk of falls and bone fractures caused by consuming excessive alcohol." [16 Mar 2009]|
| ||Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a reduced risk of BPH. [BJU Int 2002;90(7): pp.649-54]|
| ||Red wine intake was associated with reduced asthma severity in a study of adults in England. [Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001;164(10): pp.1823-1828]|
However, alcoholic drinks may aggravate asthma due to sensitivity to the alcohol itself as well as to the many nonalcoholic components such as sulfites and histamine.[Clin Exp Allergy, 2002;32: pp.186-191]
Cancer / Risk - General Measures
| ||Another potent COX-2 inhibitor known as resveratrol is produced in the skin of red grapes, where it protects against oxidation and fungal infections. Resveratrol is found in grape juice and red wine; red Bordeaux and French Cabernets contain a particularly high concentration of the compound. Resveratrol appears to help protect against cancer in at least three ways: It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and may prevent cancer cells from progressing to their next stage. Supplements of resveratrol have been reported to contain little or none, based upon testing by Dr. David Sinclair.|
Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack