It seems to have started with the "French Paradox," an observation of the relatively low rate of coronary heart disease in France in spite of a diet high in saturated fats and a propensity for smoking cigarettes. The regular consumption of red wine appears to be the added factor that provides some protection against heart disease. Red wine, along with foods like grapes, cranberries and peanuts (to name a few), contains resveratrol, which "might be a key ingredient that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots," according to the Mayo Clinic.
How does it work?
A 2007 Fortune Magazine article puts it this way: "Resveratrol is claimed to be an eco-friendly power for your body - [that] targets various molecules in the body, including the siRT1 sirtuin molecule. In turn, siRT1 promotes the growth of new mitochondria, which are the power generators in cells. The benefit is that while old mitochondria emit more of the free radicals that are damaging to health, the new mitochondria converts energy in our cells more cleanly. It's like changing your old car for a more powerful and environmentally friendly hybrid model! The end result is that ?Resveratrol? literally rejuvenates your body at the cellular level, giving your body cleaner energy."
Even more exciting, especially for those experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause, menopause and andropause, is the news that resveratrol may help women and men regain and maintain hormone balance for longevity - and quality of life.
Obviously, red wine is only one way to add some of the benefits of resveratrol to your body - but don't run out and start loading cases of it into your trunk! Your best bet is to work closely with your doctor to determine if you need it, how much you need and the best form in which to add resveratrol to your plan. This may include a combination of diet and supplementation, as well as exercise and bioidentical hormone therapy.