New study says chemical in red wine, chocolate could slow aging process

(WHDH) – Now this is a study where we’d be more than happy to participate!

Researchers from Exeter and Brighton universities in the United Kingdom say the secret to staying young could be red wine and chocolate.

The new study says a combination of the two could slow down aging. When people age, it becomes more difficult for the human body’s cells to repair themselves. But researchers said a chemical found in red wine, dark chocolate, red grapes and blueberries can help old cells rejuvenate, making them behave as if they were younger cells.

“This is a first step in trying to make people live normal lifespans, but with health for their entire life,” said Lorna Harries, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Exeter. “Our data suggests that using chemicals to switch back on the major class of genes that are switched off as we age might provide a means to restore function to old cells.”

Within hours of subjects consuming foods and drinks with the chemical, scientists found that older cells began to divide and have longer telomeres, which are caps on chromosomes that shorten as we get older.

The research followed an earlier study from Exeter, which identified genes that switch off as we age, called splicing factors.

In this latest study, researchers from Brighton and Exeter found those splicing factors could be switched back on with the right chemicals, which allow older cells to not only look younger, but also behave like younger ones.

“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,” said Dr. Eva Latorre, one of the study’s research associates who carried out the experiments. “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.”

The team behind the research called it a “breakthrough discovery” on aging.

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