The French, despite a high-fat diet and frequent wine consumption, are known to live long, healthy lives with remarkably low incidences of heart disease and diabetes when compared to Americans. This phenomenon, known as the "French Paradox," has baffled scientists for years. Now, scientists believe that they have found the answer. It is a key ingredient found in red wine known as Resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid polyphenol commonly found in red wine. People with very low-calorie diets are known to have an active gene called SRIT1. This gene is associated with longevity. The SRIT1 gene is not active in people with normal or high-calorie diets. In animal studies, scientists have shown Resveratrol to be effective in activating the SRIT1 gene, even in subjects with high-caloric intake.