Red Wine is “Exercise in a Bottle”?

An ingredient in red wine, resveratrol, can — based on experiments done in rats, mind you — negate the effects of a sedentary lifestyle according a new study. Resveratrol is the so-called “healthy” ingredient in red wine and, notes CBS, can help to lower “bad” cholesterol, as well as protect the lining of heart vessels.

The study in question was specifically looking at the adverse effects of weightlessness in space on astronauts, whose health suffers from not being able to engage in physical activity at zero gravity, with resulting losses in muscle and bone mass.

I know, so far this study seems to be only about rats and astronauts.

Here’s CBS‘s description of how research for the study was carried out:

.. scientists mimicked the inactivity astronauts experience by hanging rats by their back legs. Half the rats received a daily dose of resveratrol, and half did not. What happened? The rats not given resveratrol experienced reduced muscle mass and strength and bone density, and developed insulin resistance – which is considered a prelude to diabetes. The ones that took resveratol didn’t experience any of these negative health effects

How does it work? Weissman told CBS News that resveratrol “flips a switch” for cell metabolism that let’s the cells “breath internally” – counteracting the detrimental effects inactivity has on the body’s cells. In any case, there are about 200 studies that “show resveratrol has terrific effects on cells,” Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal where the study was published, told CBS News.

The study was published in FASEB, the journal of the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Granted, before taking this study’s findings with more than a grain of salt (along with a glass of wine), it would be well to see what the results are when the effects of resveratrol are studied on humans. We can’t, of course, hang humans in the (inhumane) way the rats in the study were. Also, as Weissman points out, actual physical exercise (beyond picking up a glass and tipping it) is preferable, plus you’d have to drink more than two glasses of wine to get the effects found in the study (at which point being “sedentary” might be just as well for some of us).

For those temporarily unable to be physically active,  resveratol might “slow deterioration until someone can get moving again.” Or as Weissmann puts it more poetically with a reference to the astronauts in a press release:

“If resveratrol supplements are not your cup of tea then there’s good news. You can find it naturally in red wine, making it the toast of the Milky Way.”

Or, to refer to those who were actually involved in the study’s research, the toast of the rat’s nest?


Related Care2 Coverage

British Columbia to Recognize Alcoholism as Medical Condition

How Many Calories in That Frappuccino? FDA Wants to Make Sure You Know

Feel Better About Sustainable Beer and Wine

Photo by angelocesare


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Chris G.
.2 years ago

I have checked this link this is really important for the people to get benefit

Manuela B.
Manuela B5 years ago

I'm a health

Dakota Payne
Dakota Payne5 years ago

thanks for keeping us up to date about the benefits of what we eat and drink

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran6 years ago


Bloody R.
Banbha M6 years ago

Well I can tell you that it only promotes exercise in me because I don't usually like to walk (unless I'm drunk) so...go figure!

Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

I don't care for wine but have thought many times of trying to due tothehealth benefits.. so guess I will --wish me luck!
HA - Holly

Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


jessica w.
jessica w6 years ago

Thank you.