Q: Is it true that wine contains anti-aging properties?—Kim, Baltimore
A: The short answer is we don't know yet. There's plenty of evidence suggesting that moderate wine consumption has health benefits, but anti-aging properties are trickier to prove. Scientists have turned to resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory polyphenol found in red wine, to help understand if wine could stop or reverse aging in humans.
"Several studies have demonstrated that resveratrol has the potential to neutralize or inhibit reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation," said Dr. Stephanie S. Trovato, assistant professor of dermatology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. ROS refers to cells that undergo accumulation of oxidative damage which is associated with aging. Trovato adds that studies involving mice have suggested that resveratrol may protect skin from photo-aging (aging related to sun exposure). But it's still too early to tell for humans.
"While the evidence on the potential anti-aging benefits of resveratrol is promising, prospective trials with resveratrol are needed in order to better classify the potential benefits in humans," Travato said.
Consult your physician before incorporating wine as part of a healthy lifestyle.—Shawn Zylberberg