The secrets of a healthy life may lie at the bottom of a glass of red wine – but scientists have warned that such a life may not necessarily be a long one.
A study has shown that a substance found in the skin of red grapes has anti-ageing properties that protect the heart, bones and eyes from the ravages of old age.
Resveratrol, an organic compound found in grapes, nuts and a variety of other plant foods, significantly slows down the rate of ageing in laboratory mice when given in large enough doses over a long period, although it did not actually prolong their lives. However, the study did not show that resveratrol actually extends life, only that it improves the quality of life, said Rafael de Cabo of the US National Institute of Ageing, who took part in the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
A major finding was that resveratrol appears to counteract the changes to the heart and cardiovascular system associated with ageing and obesity, as well as boosting the density and mineral content of bone, which could help to combat the onset of osteoporosis.
Mice fed resveratrol were also less likely to develop cataracts in their eyes compared with mice that were not given the dietary supplement. The scientists also found resveratrol stimulated the same genes that appear to be involved in extending a mouse's life when living on a calorie-restricted diet.
Source - Independent