Red wine which contains an antioxidant called resveratrol can remove fat from the diet, new research into its affect on ageing has revealed.
This confirms the speculation over why the French can eat a fatty diet but still remain healthy.
Earlier studies have already shown that resveratrol, also found in grapes, pomegranates and other foods.
In the journal PLoS ONE, the new research explains that even low doses of the substance in the diet of older mice may protect the heart. It is thought that resveratrol behaves in the same way as caloric restriction, a diet containing a full range of nutrients but with half the calories of a typical diet, which extends lifespan and cuts the risk of obesity, diabetes and cancer.
The study was carried out by the University of Wisconsin-Madison compared the gene use of animals on a restricted diet with those fed small doses of resveratrol. The authors concluded that a glass of red wine or supplements containing even small amounts of the substance could cease the rate of heart ageing.