The miracle drug, uncorked

Our view : Cheers! Raising a glass to your health might work

June 08, 2008

Is there nothing red wine can't cure? Apparently hoping to trump previous studies that have demonstrated its health benefits, from increasing endurance to lowering obesity, scientists have found that taking doses of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, can make one live longer.

Well, that may be overstating things a bit. Actually, they found that it does wonders for the longevity of mice, but that's a minor detail. For the serious oenophile, this is still news worth toasting.

Alas, there may be an even bigger catch than the rodent clause: The study and similarly positive ones before it are based on taking quite a large quantity of resveratrol. Some have involved doses equivalent to as many as 100 bottles of wine each day.

That's a lot of cabernet, even by French standards. The more likely future for resveratrol is that it may someday be available in pill form.

One can try self-medicating with the over-the-bar variety. Just don't overindulge. Red wine still has its unpleasant side effects that could put a crimp in your plans for a long life. But as the Spanish sometimes say, with wine and hope, anything is possible.

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