[Paleopsych] Resveratrol: Cutting-Edge Technology Available Today
shovland at mindspring.com
Thu Apr 21 12:59:17 UTC 2005
By Terri Mitchell
Wine. No other beverage has attracted the attention of modern medicine like
this drink. Although it is most widely known for its benefits for the
heart, wine has benefits against cancer, dementia, and other age-related
diseases. Researchers in Denmark recently looked at 25,000 people to find
out what drinking alcohol does to mortality and discovered that wine
drinkers slash their overall risk of dying from any cause by about 40%.
Chemists took wine apart years ago to find out what makes it tick.
Basically, it contains a host of plant compounds. Unfortunately,
resveratrol and some of the other beneficial components got shelved as
"toxicants," and nobody paid much attention to them until a scientist tried
to figure out why the French can eat so much fat and not get heart disease.
It turns out that part of the answer to the "French paradox" is resveratrol
found in red wine.
Resveratrol is naturally created by certain vines, pine trees, peanuts,
grapes, and other plants. One of these plants (Polygonnum cuspidatum) is an
ingredient in traditional Asian medicines that are prescribed for liver and
heart conditions. Resveratrol is classified as a polyphenol because of its
chemical structure. Polyphenols make up a huge group of plant compounds
that are further broken down into other classifications such as flavonoids,
proanthocyanidins, and the like.
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