Good news for wine lovers – having that next glass could feel almost guilt-free.
A new wine label has been released in New Zealand that contains 40 times more resveratrol, an antioxidant found in all wine that’s known to promote longevity and protect against a range of illnesses including cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.
Derived from grape skins, resveratrol is currently subject to extensive research internationally and is used in skincare products and health supplements worldwide.
However recent studies now show it’s absorbed 250 times more effectively when consumed in wine compared with capsule form.
The new Balancing Act wine range utilises technology developed by Australian researchers that significantly increases wine’s natural resveratrol concentration yet remains soluble and has no effect on taste, smell or colour.
It’s being introduced to New Zealand by Christchurch company Southern Wines NZ Ltd (SWNZ), led by Kathleen Corsbie and Annie Winmill. SWNZ holds the exclusive New Zealand licence to the product which was developed and patented by Dr Phillip Norrie, a Sydney-based GP and medical historian.
Balancing Act wines are made by winemaker Alan McCorkindale and are currently available in a Central Otago Pinot Noir (RRP $24.99) and Marlborough/Waipara Sauvignon Blanc (RRP $19.99). Pinot Gris and Chardonnay will be introduced in the coming months.
The range can be purchased online through the edgy new Murder a Drink website (www.murderadrink.co.nz) and at select New World, Pak’n Save and Four Square stores, Super Liquor, Fresh Choice and fine wine outlets.
While the naturally occurring resveratrol content in each bottle of Balancing Act gets boosted from an average 1-6mg to a whopping 75mg, Kathleen Corsbie says the wine’s clarity and taste is not altered in any way.
“This is putting something back in that is already there, so we’re not altering anything. Also, the resveratrol we use is 100 per cent natural and derived from grapes, it’s not synthetically produced.
“We can’t say that alcohol is healthy, but we can say that resveratrol is. And there is clinical research to back that up.”
Studies at the Harvard School of Medicine confirm that resveratrol is a free radical scavenger and the only substance known to activate the SIRT 1 protein¹ – one of a group of genes called sirtuins, which are believed to protect against diseases of ageing, promoting health and longevity.
“In the history of pharmaceuticals, there has never been a drug that binds to a protein to make it run faster in the way that resveratrol activates SIRT 1,” says Harvard Medical School professor and lead author David Sinclair¹.
Promising results from ingesting resveratrol have been achieved in trials that show preventative benefits against cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, psoriasis and arthritis – among others. Recent studies in particular have also shown that resveratrol can lower the risk of breast cancer by blocking oestrogen growth ².
“It is an exciting development,” says Southern Wines’ Annie Winmill. “We’ve caught the tiger by the tail. I have spent 27 years in the wine industry, and this is the first time that I have a totally unique and positive product to bring to the market.
“One glass of our Balancing Act wine is equivalent to consuming the resveratrol contained in around 40 glasses of normal wine, so why would you drink anything else?”
Dr Norrie is a strong advocate for drinking wine in moderation, claiming that the medical profession has been using it as a medicine for the past 5000 years ³.
“Besides being man’s oldest medicine, wine is also our best preventative medicine,” he writes in the International Journal of Wine Research, referring to a Copenhagen City Study which showed a 50 per cent reduction in the death rate of wine drinkers compared to abstainers.
1. Science News, March 7 2013: New study validates longevity pathway: Findings identify universal mechanise for activating anti-ageing pathway
2. Red wine ingredient resveratrol stops breast cancer growth, study suggests http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929103222.htm
3. International Journal of Wine Research 2009:1
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