A beverage that, when overdone, can make people “tipsy” might not be the first thought of to help prevent people from falling down. But a new study has broken new ground on red wine — and its core ingredient, “resveratrol.” It has found that the beverage could help older adults move around more easily and not suffer life-threatening falls.
First things first: drinking too much red wine negates all health benefits. The “okay” amount exists at two drinks or less per day. Still, it’s exciting to report on positive health effects associated with a beverage people love.
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The research is believed to be the first ever of its kind, and was unveiled last week at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. It helps solidify resveratrol’s spot among strong medicinal ingredients and could help older adults live safer, happier lives.
Whether through red wine or in supplement form, resveratrol may be able to lower “motor deficiencies” that are often seen in older adults, according to the study. Talk about a better quality of life: lowering one’s risk of winding up in the hospital because of falling. Falls are the leading cause of death-by-injury among those over 65, so it’s a big deal.
Older research has indicated that the antioxidant chemical resveratrol may reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, protect you from heart disease, fight aging, and even act in an anti-cancer way. Widely found in supplement form in health stores across the world, resveratrol is rich in dark-skinned fruits like red grapes and blueberries. And is floating in red wine.
The new study is done on mice given a diet with resveratrol for two months. The researchers tested the mice and how they could navigate across a balance beam. Older mice at first had a harder time with this obstacle. After a month on the diet, however, older mice made far fewer missteps. And were walking with the same ease and determination as young mice.
It is possible that the red wine ingredient is working in antioxidant fashion by preventing damage by free radicals. Instead of cells breaking down, it helps spark a process that leads to cell survival. At this point, it may be safer overall to find the chemical in supplement form. But it’s another boon to those who like a glass of wine with dinner.