Richard G. Petty, MD

À Votre Santé!

I am a wine buff. Several years ago I did a one year training with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust which turned me from a dilettante to someone who knew how to understand the subtlety of wines from one end of a vineyard or another. Oh yes, and how to get very good wine for not many $$.

I also learned a whole range of other new skills. Ever since then I’ve been interested in the health consequences of drinking wine. Of course, too much of a good thing isn’t. But there has been so much evidence that certain types of wine, when used in moderation, can do wonderful things for your health.

This week has seen the publications of a paper in the journal Nature, that has been described by Steve Bloom from the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine like this: “It could be the breakthrough of the year, with massive possibilities for treating human beings.”

Steve is not given to hyerbole, so what has got him so passionate?

The answer is that a chemical found in dark grapes and in red wine called resveratrol, that could make guilt-free gluttony a reality.

Why is this?

Previous research has revealed the substance has anti-ageing effects in some organisms, extending the lifespan of yeast by 60%, worms and flies by 30%, and fish by about 60%.

It has also been suggested the reported health benefits of red wine may also be due to resveratrol.

When given to mice, it countered some effects of a high-calorie diet, with 60% of the calories coming from fat, improving their health and increasing their life-span. The mice showed decreased glucose levels, healthier hearts and liver tissue, and better motor function compared with the mice on the same diet but without the supplement.The chemical could not reverse all consequences of overeating – the mice did not lose any weight.

The researchers also discovered that the chemical was extending the mice’s life-span. The scientists estimated resveratrol reduced the risk of death in the mice by about 31%. After six months, resveratrol essentially prevented most of the negative effects of the high calorie diet in mice.

The exact mechanism of the chemical is not yet known, but the researchers believe it may be activating a gene called SIRT1, which is linked to a family of proteins thought to be involved with longevity.

This is not yet an invitation to enjoy limitless quatities of grapes or wine: a glass of red wine has only 0.3% of the relative resveratrol dose given to the gluttonous mice.

BTW, you may be interested to know that Nature is now providing an excellent podcast based on papers in this week’s edition.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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