Wine and chocolate lovers everywhere are feeling very excited right now after a new study found that there could be many health benefits to consuming these products.
Experts found that there are many benefits offered by dark chocolate and red wine because they both contain resveratrol, a polyphenic bioflavonoid antioxidant produced by certain plants, classified as a phytoestrogen since it can positively interact with estrogen receptors. Plants are the most naturally abundant sources of resveratrol, with the best ones being the the skin of red grapes, red wine, raw cocoa, and dark berries, like lingonberries, blueberries, mulberries, and bilberries.
Scientists say that red wine, dark chocolate and some berries reduce inflammation and strengthen the heart. To carry out this study, researchers added “resveralogues,” or chemicals similar to resveratrol, to aging human cells and found that they reactivated these splicing factors. This effectively made the old cells appear younger, reversing the aging process.
“When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn’t believe it,” said Dr. Eva Latorre, a research associate at University of Exeter. “These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic. I repeated the experiments several times and in each case, the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research.”
Lorna Harries, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Exeter who led the researchers, discussed the results by explaining what mRNA splicing is.
“The information in our genes is carried [in] our DNA,” she said. “Every cell in the body carries the same genes, but not every gene is switched on in every cell. That’s one of the things that makes a kidney cell a kidney cell and heart cell a heart cell. When a gene is needed, it is switched on and [makes] an initial message called an RNA, that contains the instructions for whatever the gene makes. The interesting thing is that most genes can make more than one message.”
“The initial message is made up of building blocks that can be kept in or left out to make different messages,” she continued. “[This] inclusion or removal of the building blocks is done by a process called mRNA splicing, whereby the different blocks are joined together as necessary. It’s a bit like a recipe book, where you can make either a vanilla sponge or a chocolate cake, depending on whether or not you add chocolate!”
The next time you want a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine, you might want to indulge yourself, because doing so could make you look a whole lot younger!