Wine and Aging

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Drugs that contain resveratrol, a component of red wine that supposedly prevents the cellular damage that is part of aging, are not working as they should, New Scientist reports. The drugs are supposed to activate the protein SIRT 1 to combat aging, but experiments have shown that they don't. They also have unintended side effects.

But resveratrol could still be useful. Lab tests have shown that high doses can limit the negative effects of a high-fat diet on mice, even if it doesn't seem to lengthen their life span. "It may be that resveratrol-like compounds are going to be therapeutically useful in people," says Matt Kaeberlein, a biochemist at the University of Washington. 

How about the effect of alcohol on health in general? Pick up a copy of the January/February issue of Outside to find out.

--Aileen Torres

Photo: Courtesy of André Karwath/Wikimedia

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