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The Red Wine Pill
Date:2/27/2009

TORONTO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was written by W. Gifford-Jones M.D., a medical journalist.

How do the French differ from North Americans? They eat fat-rich, calorie-packed baked goodies which are not heart healthy. Yet they're less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than North Americans. It's called "The French Paradox", believed to be linked to resveratrol, a substance found in red wine. Now, a study shows that a red wine pill provides more health benefits than drinking hundreds of glasses of the sweet nectar of the gods.

Dr. David Sinclair, at The Harvard Medical School, has developed a concentrated form of resveratrol. He's tested the effects on mice and believes it will help to offset the effect of high fat diets, decrease the chance of diabetes and slow down aging in humans.

Middle-aged mice were fed a diet in which 60 percent of calories came from fat. They developed signs of diabetes and died much sooner than mice fed on a regular diet.

Another group of middle aged mice were fed the same diet along with resveratrol. This prevented the onset of diabetes and even though obese, they lived as long as those fed a regular diet. It showed mice could be gluttons at mealtime without paying the price later on.

Dr. Johan Auwerx, at the Institute of Molecular Biolgy in Illkirch, France showed that an ordinary mouse could run one kilometer on a treadmill. But mice given resveratrol ran twice as far and had a slower heart rate, similar to trained athletes. As Dr. Auwerx remarked, "Resveratrol makes you look like a trained athlete without the training."

Auwerx believes resveratrol generates energy in the body's cells thereby burning more fat and avoiding weight gain. Examination of muscle fibers of the mice revealed they had been remodeled by resveratrol into a type prevalent in trained human athletes.


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SOURCE W. Gifford-Jones M.D
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