The French Paradox and Resveratrol
Red wine grapes are rich in Resveratrol, a component that has been found to be effective in fighting age-related diseases.
It is a well-known fact that the French enjoy their high calorie meals, and yet, as luck would have it, they do not seem to be weighed down by the consequences. The rate of heart diseases among the French is remarkably lower in comparison to the rate among the Americans. This phenomenon has been attributed to the fact that it is customary for the French to wash down their meals with moderate and not-so-moderate quantities of wine.
In the year 2003, a group of compounds were chanced upon, that were potent enough to motivate the Sir2 genes to function. They were the Sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs). The most powerful of them, Resveratrol, was found in abundance in plants, particularly in the red-wine grape.
Creatures in the lower rung of the animal kingdom, such as yeast, fruit flies, worms and fish, fed on a diet of STACs, showed a marked increase in vigor and vitality besides living for longer periods of time. In the fish, the STACs increased the life span by 59%. But how effective are these compounds on warm-blooded animals?