A study by Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Aging indicates that heavy doses of resveratrol, an antioxident compound found in red wine, cuts the rate of obesity related deaths by 31 percent in mice.
According to the researchers, resveratrol lowers the rate of diabetes, liver problems and other diseases common in obese mice. Obese mice receiving the resveratrol also remained as agile as lean mice. The mice in the study receiving the wine extract lived longer than expected and the organs of the treated fat mice appeared normal. Researchers are now studying whether red wine might extend the lives of normal-sized mice.
The study is being published in the journal Nature and a pharmaceutical firm, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., is testing to see if the extract can safely be used to treat people with diabetes. Resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes, berries and peanuts. The mice in the study received supplements with an amount of resveratrol equal to a human consuming 100 bottles of red wine a day.