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Showing posts from March, 2018

The new French Paradox: How health officials are giving the wrong message about wine

French health minister Agn├Ęs Buzyn recently created a major buzzkill across the winemaking world by denouncing claims that wine could be beneficial and increase longevity. Ms. Buzyn, a hematologist, broke with wine loving President Emmanuel Macron, saying in a television interview that “The French population is led to believe that wine protects them, that it offers benefits that other alcohol does not. Scientifically, wine is an alcohol like any other.” This is true only in the narrowest sense, and wrong in the larger sense. Here’s why: Yes, it’s technically accurate to state that alcohol (ethanol) distilled from wine, beer or spirits is the same, but the conclusion that all beverages are equally detrimental is fallacious. We don’t consume the alcohol independently of the source. The benefits of wine are attached to the lifestyle of moderate consumption with meals; the pattern of drinking matters. But to the larger point, wine’s health benefits are not exclusively derived from lifestyl…

Resveratrol derivatives reverse signs of cellular aging - next beauty breakthrough?

While the bloom may be off the rose for resveratrol as a miracle anti-aging molecule, there’s more to
the story. Spin-offs of this wine-derived compound have recently been shown to reverse some fundamental changes in cellular aging in ways that the parent compound doesn’t. Resveratrol came to be a sort of celebrity molecule when it was demonstrated to activate genetic “switches” called sirtuins, which mediate the lifespan-extending effects of caloric restriction. But in the end it turned out that resveratrol is not a direct sirtuin activator, and experiments in animals other than primitive organisms failed to consistently replicate the effect. Resveratrol levels in wine and other dietary sources are too low to explain wine’s association with longevity anyway; secondly, when taken as a supplement it is rapidly metabolized into other compounds. But the concept of activating anti-aging genes opened new avenues of research, and new possibilities began to take shape. How splicing factor…