Red wine helps old people stay agile, study says

A new study shows that a chemical compound in red wine might prevent seniors from falling.
Dan Kitwood

In another score for wine afficianados, a new study suggests that a compound in red wine may prevent seniors from taking falls.

The chemical compound resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine and linked to many health benefits including anti-aging, can now claim to help improve balance.

The only catch?

To achieve the same effect as the study, someone would have to drink about 700 bottles of wine.

That said, the study suggests the compound could be concentrated and made into supplement form with the correct dosage in the future.

"Our study suggests a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies seen in our aging population," said Jane Cavanaugh, an assistant professor of pharmacology at Duquesne University, told the Telegraph.

"And that would, therefore, increase an aging person's quality of life and decrease their risk of hospitalization due to slips and falls."

The study was conducted on two groups of mice, one younger, the other older.

Researchers had both groups walk a tight balance beam.

At first, the old mice struggled to cross but after receiving mega doses of reveratrol, the older mice were just as nimble as their younger counterparts, said UPI.

The researchers said that the antioxidant is likely blocking compounds that produce cell death.

"We believe that resveratrol is either removing the byproducts of dopamine metabolism, which are harmful to neural cells, or increasing resistance in the cells themselves," Cavanaugh told Wine Spectator.

The discovery was presented at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.