Resveratrol: It’s in your wine

It’s 5:00 on Friday. Do you know where your red wine is?

If you read the paper this morning, you may have seen the latest news about the red wine-anti-aging connection.  Scientists have shed light on how resveratrol [res-VEHR-a-trahl], a molecule found in red wine, interacts with our cells to help protect us against certain diseases and the nasty effects of aging.


Before you toss the face cream and go dashing to the store to buy cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, know that you’d have to down hundreds of bottles of vino–in one sitting–to get a single, beneficial dose of resveratrol.

Oh, and in case you’re multi-tasking while reading this post, let me be loud and clear: Do NOT go out and consume hundreds of bottles of vino in one sitting. Not to sound like your mom, but excessive alcohol consumption will not make you younger, it can actually kill you.

Kick back with a bottle of wine at bodega Irurtia in Uruguay's Carmelo region.
Do not try this at home.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, resveratrol is found in grape seeds and skins. Because red wine gets its color from the skin of the grape, you won’t find huge levels of  resveratrol in white wine, since the juice used to make white wine is not left in contact with the grape skin.

For years, scientists have marveled at how the Italians and French have significantly lower levels of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other illnesses than their U.S. peers. Researchers noted that both cultures consume wine on a regular basis, et voila, the resveratrol–heart health connection was born.


Also born was a super-gigantico resveratrol supplement industry. My personal opinion, which you can take or leave, is that people will tell you anything to make a quick dollar. By the same token, my late great-uncle was the undisputed King of Vitamin and Herbal Supplements, and the man lived to be 96. Fitter than Jack La Lanne and as lucid as the day is long, he would probably still be with us if he didn’t take a fall two years ago as he was going out for his evening walk.

So the takeaway, chicas y chicos, is to keep enjoying your vino, and pop a few berries and dark chocolate, for a natural resveratrol boost. And if you decide to pop the resveratrol pills instead, I’ll still like you.

By the way, the Spanish word for health is salud. So I bid you a happy weekend with mucha, mucha ¡Salud!

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