A red wine component shown to extend the lives of mice and protect them from obesity also has been shown to boost endurance, French researchers said.
Besides confirming resveratrol's benefits, the researchers offered insights into how the substance works, The Washington Post said Friday.
Resveratrol apparently raises the metabolism so muscles burn more energy and work more efficiently, researchers said. Mice fed large doses could run twice as far as they would normally. Researchers said the same triggering mechanism is likely to be in humans as well.
"This compound could have many applications -- treating obesity and diabetes, improving human endurance, helping the frail," said Johan Auwerx, a professor at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Strasbourg, France, who led the research published online and in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Cell.
Auwerx said more research is needed, especially to see if the approach is safe for humans. Humans would have to take hundreds of resveratrol pills or drink hundreds of glasses of wine a day to get equivalent levels tested on the mice.
Resveratrol is found in red wine, grapes and other foods, including peanuts.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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