Study: Eating Chocolate and Drinking Red Wine Could Help Prevent Aging

There is something great about dark chocolate and red wine. It is all about their resveratrol.

A research released in the journal BMC Cell Biology confirmed that chemicals similar to resveratrol can rejuvenate old human cells. The research was conducted by a group of researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton, led by Lorna Harries, a professor of molecular genetics. Dr. Eva Latorre is the first author of the paper, and she is a research associate at the University of Exeter, same as Lorna.

The study was based on a previous research which found that splicing-factors become inactive as a result of the aging process. Resveralogues are chemicals similar to resveratrol, and they were added to aging human cells. The good news is that they managed to reactivate the splicing factors. This makes cells younger and divide again, same as young cells.

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 for this research,” Dr. Latorre explained.

Resveratrol is found in grapes, red wine, dark chocolate, berries and peanuts.

mRNA splicing factors

Prof. Harries had the perfect explanation of what mRNA splicing is.

“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 initial message is made up of building blocks that can be kept in or left out to make different messages.

This inclusion or removal of the building blocks is done by a process called mRNA splicing, whereby the different blocks are joined together as necessary. It’s a bit like a recipe book, where you can make either a vanilla sponge or a chocolate cake, depending on whether or not you add chocolate!

We have previously found that the proteins that make the decision as to whether a block is left in our taken out (these are called splicing factors) are the ones that change most as we age. The findings demonstrate that when you treat old cells with molecules that restore the levels of the splicing factors, the cells regain some features of youth.

They are able to grow, and their telomeres — the caps on the ends of the chromosomes that shorten as we age — are now longer, as they are in young cells. We were quite surprised by the magnitude of the findings.”

Source: Life Boat

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