Scientists Zero In on Red Wine's Health Secrets
Resveratrol boosts cell power, says study
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2012 5:51 PM CDT
A stock photo of red wine.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists have unlocked the mystery of a special ingredient in red wine that could increase lifespan and promote health in humans. The organic compound resveratrol aids the body by jump-starting the activity of mitochondria—the power suppliers of cells, reports the Daily Mail. Resveratrol, which occurs naturally in red wine, is credited with combating cancer, obesity, and aging.

In previous experiments, resveratrol prolonged the lifespan of mice that were fed a junk food diet. Scientists behind the current study found that the plant compound does not work without a specific gene, SIRT1, and their research could lead to drugs that mimic the effects of resveratrol. That way, people don't have to become heavy drinkers to get the benefits: "The amounts we gave to our mice would be like drinking 100 glasses of red wine a day," says one researcher, according to HealthDay.