News Media Misdirects Public Over Wine vs. Wine Pills

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News reports exclaimed wine reverses effects of high-fat diet. But chief researcher says results were produced with concentrated source of red wine (resveratrol) molecules, not wine. Other experts suggest the public wait till safety is proven in resveratrol pills when doctors have long withheld approval of wine because of its alcohol and calorie content.

Something wonderful happened to humanity this past week. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes on Aging, led by David Sinclair PhD at Harvard, reported that resveratrol, a red wine molecule, overcame the adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, prolonged their life 31%, and better yet, maintained quality of life (the over-fed animals maintained motor function -- coordination and balance) as well as mice on a limited-calorie diet. At one point in the study, equivalent to middle age in humans, 22% of the fat-fed animals had expired vs. 0% in the high-fat + resveratrol fed animals. [Nature Magazine, November 1, 2006]

Newspapers claimed it was "grapes over gluttony" and another said resveratrol was "the equalizer." However, most newspaper headlines incorrectly said it was wine, not concentrated resveratrol, which produced these health benefits. The London Times told its readers: "A drop of wine can prolong an active life."

In an article in the Harvard Crimson entitled "It's Wine, Not Cheese, That Leads Media Into This Moustrap," Dr. David Sinclair said he was "disappointed" with the way the findings were portrayed by the news media. "This isn't about red wine at all," he said, stressing that resveratrol is only found in small amounts in red wine. He added that a person would have to drink over 100 glasses of red wine per day to take in the same amount of resveratrol as demonstrated in the laboratory mice.

It is a fact that modern medicine has yet to develop a medicine that outperforms red wine. With Dr. Sinclair's comments in mind, even very small doses are beneficial. For example, another recent mouse study showed that Cabernet sauvignon red wine, in a concentration 10-times lower than what was shown to eradicate beta amyloid brain plaque in a lab dish, was able to significantly prevent the memory loss in aged mice. [FASEB Journal, November 20: 2313-20, 2006]

However, the higher doses Sinclair used produced even more health benefits in the face of a typical high-fat western diet.

Ever since Dr. Serge Renaud of France announced the French Paradox in 1992, the fact that the French defy the common risk factors for cardiovascular disease by eating a high-calorie/high-fat diet and yet exhibit low rates of heart and blood vessel disease, modern medicine has argued over the possibility of prescribing wine for health. Doctors have withheld their recommendation of wine because it would give license to those who wish to over-imbibe. Health benefits are only derived from moderate consumption, 2-3 five-ounce glasses per day.

Providing more misdirection were other experts called upon by the news media to comment on the Sinclair/Harvard mouse study. They were surprisingly reluctant to suggest the public look into taking red wine pills. Instead, many claimed that resveratrol pills were unproven and may pose unknown long-term health risks and that drinking a glass or two of red wine would be a safer alternative, for now. Which appears safer to you, an alcoholic beverage or a non-alcoholic pill with far-fewer calories as well?

Police in Washington DC arrest any driver with a blood alcohol over .01. The "big story" is that with resveratrol pills, humans can avoid the alcohol and calories, the very drawbacks that have kept doctors from prescribing red wine.

Resveratrol is a molecular mimic of calorie restriction, turning on genetic mechanisms that are turned on under normal circumstances only be a limited calorie diet. Modern medicine is certainly arrogant to think anything new was discovered here. The Bible prescribed fasting and drinking of red wine centuries ago. Moses fasted and lived 120 years in good health to his last day.

But these modern studies do confirm what was known long ago. The French have been taking a shortcut and not suffering the adverse health consequences from a high-calorie diet.

We must still recognize the undeniable health benefits observed among wine drinkers. While the body mass index of human adults continues to rise after full growth is achieved (around age 18), the French still remain lean and healthy. [European Journal Clinical Nutrition 45:13-21, 1991]

While researchers argue over how much resveratrol to take for optimal effect, the safest and most reliable source of resveratrol is a red wine/resveratrol pill. If you haven't purchased some of these pills, you're late for the party. For further information about red wine/resveratrol pills, search in your web browser for Consumer Guide To Resveratrol Supplements (PRWeb).

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WILLIAM SARDI
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