Consuming excess alcohol has always been associated with poor health. However, some scientists suggest that a small glass of wine per day can actually do a lot of good for you. Why? As this new study from UCL has noted it is all due to a dietary compound resveratrol, found in red wine – it can actually help you achieve a healthier and longer life.
Resveratrol has interested scientists of aging for a long time. This compound, found in red wine, has showed a lot of promise in slowing aging down. At first it was believed that it works because it is an antioxidant, but now the idea of antioxidants stopping aging has been largely rejected. However, resveratrol is still very helpful.
Resveratrol is a sirtuin-activating compound. Sirtuins are signalling proteins involved in processes such as DNA repair and metabolic regulation, which is why scientists wanted to see what activates them in terms of dietary compounds. Previous studies have shown that oestrogen increases sirtuin signalling through oestrogen receptors, which was also interesting to scientists, because activated sirtuins correlate to a healthier and longer lifespan.
Scientists found that resveratrol activates sirtuin through oestrogen. Red wine compound actually mimics oestradiol (one of the three major oestrogen hormones) and causes sirtuins to activate and start repairing damage related to age. And it is not too surprising, because oestrogen, mistakenly considered to be a female hormone, is involved in many functions from appetite to reproduction. Healthy levels of oestrogen can actually help preventing Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, the metabolic syndrome, inflammatory, Alzheimer’s,heart diseases and some other conditions.
Scientists also found that the dosage of resveratrol is very important. While low doses of this wine compound mimicked oestrogen, larger doses actually behaved in a completely opposite way. This means that large amounts of resveratrol actually suppress sirtuins and can even accelerate aging. This is one of the reasons why you should limit your wine intake. Dr Henry Bayele, author of the study, said: “ moderate consumption of red wine as part of a healthy diet may be able to provide the benefits of oestrogen. This would apply to both men and women of all ages, but post-menopausal women may feel these benefits the most because they have lower oestrogen reserves than men of a similar age”.
Red wine is part of the Mediterranean diet as well. People in the Mediterranean region typically consume one glass of wine with dinner or lunch. Although their entire diet is considered to be healthy, it could be that the wine is part of the reason why people in the Mediterranean region tend to live longer.