While we've long known the health benefits of wine, researchers are still actively studying the age-old elixir that just keeps on giving. From preventing early on-set Alzheimer's to boosting sex drives, red wine can now add one more benefit to its long list. Researchers in the U.K., from the Universities of Exeter and Brighton have discovered a way to rejuvenate inactive senescent cells to make them behave and look younger. That secret chemical is in both red wine and chocolate.
The study on aging saw researchers apply compounds called reversatrol analogues to cells in culture. Reversatrol might sound familiar because recently, it has been linked to combating obesity. Found in red wine, dark chocolate, red grapes, and blueberries, this chemical compound is incredibly beneficial to the human body. In a prior study, research from the University of Exeter found that a class of genes known as splicing factors switch off as we age.
In this particular study, researchers found that the reversatrol analogues applied to cells in culture caused the splicing factors to switch back on within hours of treatment. The older cells began to divide and created longer telomeres, which are chromosome 'caps' that shorten as we age.
Red wine and chocolate, then, are one of the secrets to fighting wrinkles because the reservatrol signals senescent cells to begin splicing again. Dr. Eva Latorre, Research Associate at the University of Exeter, carried out the experiments was personally surprised by the extent and speed of the change in cells. As she stated,
"When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn't believe it. These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic.
"I repeated the experiments several times and in each case the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research."
So grab your glass of red wine with pride this evening and don't forget to nibble on a dark chocolate bar to boot. As it turns out, you're regaining some features of youth while you're at it.