|Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor|
While the numerous negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption have been extensively documented, a comprehensive review of recent research shows that a glass or two of wine may actually ease the effects of aging.
Researchers at the University of Florida published their findings on June 20, 2011 in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
The active compound in red wine believed to create positive health effects is called resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, which is a naturally occurring plant antibiotic. Animal studies have shown that resveratrol may prevent the growth of some cancers in mice, ease inflammation, and reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
One of the major ways resveratrol is believed to improve health is through its function as an antioxidant. Oxidation in your body creates free radicals which can cause instability to cells in your body, accelerating the aging process. As an antioxidant, resveratrol helps suppress free radicals.
This review looked at research conducted in laboratories on enzymes, cultured cells, and animals. The review of the research suggests that similar positive effects will probably be found in humans. The researchers hope that their review will guide future human studies.
The best dietary source of resveratrol is red wine, but it can also be found in grapes and other fruits. Resveratrol supplements are abundant but be sure to make sure your resveratrol is at least 99% pure resveratrol.