FOOD & FITNESS / JUN. 26, 2015
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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Red Wine

According to some research published last year, red wine can, surprisingly, protect against cavities in your teeth. It’s already well known that red wine has cardiovascular (heart) benefits, but  are there other surprising health benefits of red wine? Read on to discover a few.

See also: 10 reasons why you should eat more chocolate

1. It can lead to weight loss

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Bring on the merlot! The overweight amongst you can now raise a toast to news of a possible solution – finally - to years of yo-yo dieting: red wine. Researcher Neil Shay from Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Studies said that ellagic acids found in red wine slow down the proliferation of fat cells and delays the creation of new ones.

The finding is based on a 10-week trial in which some overweight mice were fed fatty “mouse chow” whilst other mice from the same group were given extracts of Pinot noir grapes, a source of ellagic acids. The overweight mice that ate the grapes stored less liver fat and had lower blood pressure than the mice that were fed with the mouse chow. The overweight mice fed with mouse chow developed fatty liver and had symptoms of diabetes.

2. It mimics the effect of exercise

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“We were excited when we saw that resveratrol showed results similar to what you would see from extensive endurance exercise training."  Jason Dyck

A group of Canadian scientists have found that the polyphenol compound resveratrol, found in red wine, has the same physical benefits as hitting the gym.  The researchers found that high concentrations of resveratrol had positive effects on physical performance, cardiovascular function and strength.

Unfortunately, the benefits don’t last for long, so keep the gym membership going. If you’re not a fan of red wine (you won’t find resveratrol in white wine), simply stock up on dark chocolate, peanut butter, blueberries and, er… red grapes, which all contain the compound.

3. It promotes longevity

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Still searching for the fountain of youth? Call off the search!  A study published last year and reported in Medical Daily suggests that resveratrol in red wine plays a key role in extending longevity and protecting against disease. However, this benefit is only achieved with a moderate consumption of red wine, so there’s no need to build a wine cellar after all.

4. It can improve memory

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There is some evidence to suggest that resveratrol can slow down the rate at which your memory starts fading. Scientists at Texas A&M found that elderly mice treated with extracts of resveratrol had better blood flow, reduced inflammation of the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for memory and double the neurogenesis (growth and development of neurones) compared with control mice which were not treated with resveratrol.

5. It can help clear acne (spots)

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Miracle drug resveratrol has also been found to be an effective treatment for acne, based on studies performed by researchers at UCLA.  The researchers report that when combined with benzoyl peroxide, a traditional acne treatment, resveratrol enhances the ability of the benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria. Resveratrol also has a number of other benefits which may contribute to its effectiveness in the treatment of acne: it shows “antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and antiprotozoal” properties and also inhibits the growth of keratinocytes, according to the researchers.

See also: Beer Vs Coffee: Which Makes You More Creative?

Resveratrol in its pure form is widely available, as a quick Google search demonstrates, presumably due to these and other reported health benefits. However, to take it in this form would be to forego the numerous health benefits of red wine (I’ve only listed a few), not to mention the enjoyment of it. And even your £7.50 bottle of plonk from your local supermarket will generate the same benefits.  So go with the wine!

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