Are you a Chianti or cabernet fan? You may want to raise a toast to researchers who say they’ve uncovered the secret to red wine’s health benefits.
Scientists with the National Institutes of Health have found resveratrol -- the chemical in grape skins, dark chocolate and other foods – produces its health benefits by activating proteins and energy-regulating enzymes at the cellular level.
Dr. Jay H. Chung, a senior investigator at NIH, noted research published in recent years has shown that feeding resveratrol to obese mice protected them against obesity, as well as some of its consequences.
It has also been shown to extend the lifespan in laboratory animals as well as protecting against aging-related metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
Chung said the new NIH study of the chemical’s effects on the body cells of mice, published in the journal Cell, is promising, but spotlights the need for more research.
“Researchers emphasize that there is a clear need for additional careful and well-controlled studies to show how resveratrol operates,” the study authors wrote.