Nov 5, 2006

[Health] Of Mice and Wine

A recent study has revealed that red wine may help extend longevity in mice. Of course, the media can't help but start trying to connect the dots and make the jump that this study may also apply to humans very, very soon.

Let's get past the razzle and dazzle and focus on the facts of the matter at hand first. The study focused on the effects of resveratrol - a natural antibiotic found in red wine - on mice who were subjected to a high calorie diet. Thus, they wanted to see if the wine component would do anything for these obese mice. This follows previous studies of the same component and the lifespans of yeast, flatworms, and fish - in other words the normal progression of testing for anything ultimately meant to prove things about human beings.

There are still a number of tests that are to follow this one, of course, but the testing of mice is always presented as a breakthrough since this is the first time it is tested on a mammal. In this particular case, it was found in the two years of testing that mice on the high calorie diet with resveratrol added in lived as long as mice on a standard, "healthier" diet. Thus, the results do imply that daily intake of wine, therefore resveratrol, helps combat the life-shortening effects of obesity - in mice.

Don't go running out to buy a bottle of Merlot just yet.

The study is promising but it is what it is - a study on mice. Let's try to keep things in perspective, shall we?

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