Red wine does indeed explain why the French get away with a relatively clean bill of heart health despite eating a diet loaded with saturated fats, concludes a new study.
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People living in France have a much lower incidence of coronary heart disease than those in Britain, despite their similar intake of saturated fats - a phenomenon known as the "French paradox".
Many have speculated that answer to the paradox lies in their love of a glass or two of wine with a meal and have focused on a chemical found in red wine called resveratrol, also a natural constituent of grapes, pomegranates and other foods.
Earlier studies have shown it can blunt the toxic effects of a diet very high in fat, which causes liver damage, but this is the first study to directly look at ageing.