A New Reason Toast to 2012 With a Glass of Red Wine

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Filed Under: Heart Health
Last Reviewed 04/16/2014

Toasting to the new year with a glass of red wine can help to improve your heart health.On New Year's Eve, many of us will be at celebrations—or at home watching the ball drop in Times Square on our television—counting down to the start of the new year. If you want to boost your heart health from the very first second that the clock strikes midnight, toast to the New Year with a glass of red wine.

Red wine, or rather the red grape, definitely has some good things going for it. Researchers at Harvard University have found that huge amounts of a red wine extract called resveratrol significantly increased the health, vitality, and lifespan of obese mice—despite them being fed an unhealthy, high-fat diet. This extract also appeared to extend the life of normal mice.

Plus, now for the first time we have a new human study showing that obese men who took resveratrol for a month experienced improvements in their metabolism. In fact more than 1,500 experiments on resveratrol have been conducted since the 1980s, and the research appears to be accelerating. Here are a few of the important findings about resveratrol:

  • It protects against free radical damage to the sensitive endothelial lining of arteries in atherosclerosis. 
  • It improves mitochondrial function (cellular energy production) and aerobic capacity in animal studies. 
  • It speeds the death of various human cancer cells in laboratory experiments. 
  • It protects against fragile, leaky blood vessels that are involved in age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy—major causes of vision loss.

What’s the best way to get your daily dose of resveratrol? While an occasional glass of red wine is certainly a health booster, you would need to drink 60-100 glasses to get the amount of resveratrol equivalent to what’s being used in the research. That’s why I also recommend taking a good resveratrol supplement

Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite type of red wine?

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