Yet another study shows that Resveratrol, the phenolics compounds found in red wine may help retard the aging process, though the amount found in moderate quantity in wine may have negligible benefits.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison have found that resveratrol appear to halt age-related changes in the function of heart genes.
Resveratrol, the polyphenol found in red wine, grapes and pomegranates, has been suggested as one of the reasons in the French paradox for the relative longevity of the French despite their reportedly unhealthy eating habits.
The researchers carried out the tests on middle-aged mice, looking at the effects on the workings of genes in the heart. The mice on resveratrol appeared to have fewer changes in gene expression over time compared with those who did not.
The researchers suggested that this brought studies of the chemical closer to the situation in case of middle-aged humans.
The report is likely to give impetus to the rapidly growing search for longevity drugs.
Some people are already taking resveratrol in capsule form, but others believe it is too early to take such drugs, especially using wine as its source, until more data is available about its effectiveness.
However, the researchers feel that drinking wine may not have the similar positive anti-aging effect on the heart. This is because the chemical did not stay in the body under test, long enough to have any effects.
"The resveratrol molecule is very quickly removed from the bloodstream, metabolised by the liver. In order to have any effect, one has to drink liters of wine, which is obviously not recommended," says a scientist at Imperial College, London.
The study and the effects are described in the PLOS One journal.