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Monday, May 14, 2007

Can Armagnac Make You Live Longer?

Researchers in France believe that Armagnac may help ward of heart disease, reduce obesity and help people lead longer lives.

Armagnac is a brandy that comes from the Gascony region of France. Researchers at the University of Bordeaux are studying why residents of Gascony live an average of five years longer than people in the rest of France. One answer might be a daily slug of Armagnac.

The scientists are looking at how Armagnac is distilled and the oak barrels where it is aged. The study found a low incidence of heart disease in the Gascony region, even though residents consume a diet similar to the rest of France and are heavy smokers.

The researchers study Armagnac on platelets in test tubes and found the drink has a similar positive benefit to the anti-thrombosis drug Plavix. In tests with humans, the brandy was compared to vodka and had a more positive result. The researchers also noted the Armagnac was better than daily doses of aspirin because it did not interfere with blood clotting in the case of a cut or injury.

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