Some experts say that for red wine lovers to see health benefits of resveratrol, a compound purported to add years to your life, they'll need to guzzle excessive quantities of the stuff.
But now a new study suggests that a class of drugs can offer the benefits of mega doses of resveratrol, equivalent to drinking something akin to 1,000 bottles of red wine.
Published in the journal Cell on February 3, researchers discovered that a class of drugs being tested as treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases can offer the same health benefits as buckets of red wine, without of course the boozy aftereffects.
These drugs, known as phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, were found to mimic the protein-blocking effects of resveratrol while also producing all the similar health benefits of the compound, including potentially preventing obesity and improving blood sugar level stabilization.
The research "reveals a novel utility for this class of drugs that hasn’t been explored before," said study researcher Dr. Jay H. Chung, chief of the Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the US.
The study was conducted on mice, so researchers are planning to test one of the drugs, rolipram, on obese people with insulin resistance.
In the meantime, you can rely on one glass of red wine containing about 1 mg of resveratrol. Supplements contain 15 to 500 mg per capsule. Currently, there is no consensus on the safe and effective daily dosage of resveratrol, and supplements are to be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The Mayo Clinic defines moderate drinking as two glasses of wine a day for men and one glass a day for women.
Simply eating red grapes with the skin on has been suggested as one way to get resveratrol without consuming alcohol. Other foods that contain resveratrol include peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries.