Scientists confirm that red wine keeps us young

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Scientists confirm that red wine keeps us young


Just in time for Christmas, a new study proves that red wine's miracle ingredient 'resveratrol' does keep us younger after all

Red wine drinkers have long waxed lyrical about the benefits of their favourite tipple. Scientists too have speculated about red wine's health and heart boosting properties, but it's never been proven. Until now.

A new study has gone on to prove the age-defying effects of red wine, at last. Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla , California, have discovered that resveratrol, an organic compound found in the skin of grapes and therefore red wine, in fact limits stress and damage upon our DNA. Researchers explain that resveratrol does this by imitating naturally occuring molecules in the body whose job it is to protect our DNA against damage and disease. "This stress response represents a layer of biology that has been largely overlooked, and resveratrol turns out to activate it at much lower concentrations than those used in prior studies," professor Paul Schimmel told The Independent.

The layer of stress-reducing biology that Schimmel is referring to is the ancient evolutionary defence mechanism whereby natural amino acids in the body, known as tyrosine, bind to a specific member of a family of enzymes believed to have developed millions of years ago, when life existed as mere microbes. One of these enzymes, reports The Independent, known as TyrRS, is in fact activated when red wine's resveratrol binds to it, forcing it to enter the cell of nucleus to protect the DNA against genetic damage.

TryRS is a powerful enzyme. Once in the nucleus, it is able to activate a handful or protective genes including the anti-cancer p53 gene, which prevents tumours, as well as a host of age-defying genes, associated with longevity and combatting age-related diseases. "We believe that TyrRS has evolved to act as a top-level switch or activator of a fundamental cell-protecting mechanism that works in virtually all forms of life," says Dr Sajish.

"With these findings we have a new, fundamental mechanism for the known beneficial effects of resveratrol," Dr Sajish added. Just the type of scientific discovery we like before Christmas, we would however also like to point out that resveratrol is also found in nuts and and some edible plants, and also that this research was carried out on relatively small amounts of resveratrol. In fact concentrations used in this lab experiment were one thousand times lower than doses previously thought to have caused an beneficial effect. "Based on these results, it is conceivable that moderate consumption of a couple of glasses of red wine would give a person enough resveratrol to evoke a protective effect," Dr Sajish added. That's two glasses - take note.