Study: Eating Chocolate and Drinking Red Wine Could Help Prevent Aging
Surely you have heard or read about the health benefits of red wine or dark chocolate. Well, the combination is delicious and fancy yet healthy. These health benefits come from a natural chemical compound known by the name resveratrol.
That is not all; there is more to this. It is said that this combination may help slow down the aging process. How is that possible? Well, the journal BMC Cell Biology published one research on this topic.
That research shows that old human cells are actually rejuvenated with the help of chemicals which are similar to the resveratrol as mentioned above. Resveratrol is present in dark chocolate and red wine.
This research was carried out by scientists at the Universities of Brighton and Exeter, located in the UK. The one who led the scientists was a professor of molecular genetics, Lorna Harries from the University of Exter.
And Dr. Eva Latorre, who is a research associate at the University of Exter was the author of the paper. This specific research builds on the previous study from the University of Exter.
That study discovered that splicing factors (the type of protein) become inactive as the candles on the cake increase. In the research, the scientists added chemical similar to resveratrol or resveralogues to aging human cells.
They discovered that they reactivated the splicing factors. The old cells seemed younger and started dividing again the same as young cells would.
Dr. Latorre says that she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the cells in the culture dish. She says that they looked like young cells and to her everything was like magic.
She also says that she repeated the procedure a couple of times and everytime the cells rejuvenated. She is excited about the potential of the findings of this study.
You should know that resveratrol is a compound which is present in some berries, peanuts, dark chocolate, grapes, and red wine.
In order to better know the context of the findings from this study, professor Harries described what mRNA splicing is to Medical News Today.
She said that the info in the genes is actually carried in the DNA. Every single cell in the human body has the same genes, but not every single gene is actually switched on in every single cell. That is what makes a heart cell a heart cell.
She says that when a gene is necessary, it is switched on and produces a message known as RNA. The RNA has the instructions for whatever the gene produces. Most genes may make more than one message.
This message is composed of building blocks which may be kept in or even left out in order to produce different messages. This removal of the building blocks is made by a process known by the name mRNA splicing.
Here the different blocks are actually joined together as needed. To be more precise, this is like a recipe book. You can make either a chocolate cake or a vanilla sponge; it depends on whether or not you will add the chocolate while cooking.
It was previously discovered that the proteins which decide to whether a lock is in or left out (the splicing factors) are those who change most as people age.
The findings show that when old cells are treated with molecules which restore the levels of the splicing factors, they regain some traits of youth.
They can grow, and their telomeres (the caps found on the ends of chromosomes which shorten as people age) are actually longer, similar as in young cells.
Professor Harries told for the MNT that they were surprised by the magnitude of the findings. Also, she added that the rejuvenating effects lasted for a couple of weeks, which is exciting as well.
Professor Harries explains that this is the first step when it comes to trying to make people live normal lifespans, with health during their entire life.