For some adults, nothing pairs better with a good steak than an equally tasty glass of red wine. In some countries, such as in France, it is actually a social norm for children to drink a hearty glass of red wine with their dinner. Personally, my great-grandmother always had a glass before she went to bed, as she was a firm believer in its cardiovascular benefits. But are there any other possible ways one can benefit from drinking red wine? Recent scientific studies have shown that, in fact, it can actually help maintain your body’s muscle mass. Here’s what we know so far.
To get a good idea, scientists simulated the conditions that would be present in spaceflight to test its long-term effects on rats. The control group of rats demonstrated a large decrease in their overall muscle mass, increased insulin resistance, and a detrimental decrease in bone density.
This was credited to the anti-gravity nature of spaceflight. Much like the rats involved in this study, the human body needs regular physical activity. This means exercise- with resistance from gravity. However, there is another side to this story. The other group of rats were subjected to a compound called resveratrol, and proved to be resistant to all of the effects the control group of rats suffered from.
So, what is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring in nature that plants actually use in response to injury, and to fight attacks from pathogens. Humans use it as a supplement to aid in preventing damaged blood cells and in lowering cholesterol, among other things. Some of the plants that are known to utilize resveratrol are blueberries, mulberries, peanuts, and yes- grapes.
Is wine a good source of resveratrol?
Red wine can contain up to 12.59 mg of resveratrol. In retrospect, that is not a whole lot. Supplements usually contain doses of 40 mg, and some studies have shown that up to 500 mg is the amount necessary for people to retain the benefits of using it. So, when you do the math, that means you’d need to drink almost 40 liters of wine daily. I think it’s safe to say that may not be a good idea if you have any plans to do for the rest of the day. Or maybe, not a good idea if you plan to keep your liver.
Now, that is not to say that drinking your glass of wine doesn’t have it’s benefits. At the end of the day, it’s still healthier than throwing back a beer or two after work (sorry, fellas). In conclusion, red wine in combination with a substantially healthy lifestyle can be more than enough to keep your heart happy, and most of all, keep you happy too.