Chocolate and red wine can prevent aging and cancer

"The countless benefits of red wine and dark chocolate are thought to be a result of the presence of a natural chemical named resveratrol.

Resveratrol is a polyphenic bioflavonoid antioxidant produced by specific plants and discovered in foods and drinks and is classified as a phytoestrogen due to its ability to interact positively with estrogen receptors.

Studies show that the best-known resveratrol source is red wine, and the most naturally abundant sources of resveratrol are plants, such as the skin of red grapes, raw cocoa, red wine, and dark berries, like lingonberries, mulberries, blueberries, and bilberries.

Nevertheless, research published in the journal BMC Cell Biology indicates that chemicals similar to resveratrol can be used to rejuvenate old cells.

The leader of the research was Lorna Harries, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Exeter, and the first author of the paper is Dr. Eva Latorre, a research associate at the university.

The study focused on the findings done previously at the University, that showed that so-called splicing factors that are protein types become inactive as we age.

Researchers reactivated these factors by adding "resveralogues," or chemicals similar to resveratrol, to aging human cells. Not only did they appeared younger, but the old cells started dividing again.

Dr. Latorre said:

"When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn't believe it. 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 of this research."

Professor Harries explained mRNA splicing:

"The information in our genes is carried [in] our DNA. 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 study co-author Prof. Richard Faragher, of the University of Brighton, added:

"At a time when our capacity to translate new knowledge about the mechanisms of aging into medicines and lifestyle advice is limited only by a chronic shortage of funds, older people are ill-served by self-indulgent science fiction. They need practical action to restore their health, and they needed it yesterday."

Concerning their future plans and direction of research, Professor Harries said:

"We are now trying to see if we can find out how the changes in splicing factor levels cause cell rescue. We have more papers in preparation on this so watch this space!"

According to research published by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Seville in Spain:

"One of the most striking biological activities of resveratrol soundly investigated during the late years has been its cancer-chemopreventive potential. In fact, recently it has been demonstrated that it blocks the multistep process of carcinogenesis at various stages: tumor initiation, promotion, and progression."

You can, therefore, enjoy the delicious taste of dark chocolate and your daily glass of red wine, and you will feel all the positive effects of resveratrol!"----

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