Are You a Man (Woman) or a Mouse?

mouseI was looking at MayoClinic.com, a website that has all sorts of very smart and useful stuff about health and medicine. I read an article about the health benefits of red wine, which I believe to be significant. (I love doctors who tell their patients to drink a glass of red wine before bed instead of taking medicine). But something in the story made me go, “Huh?” Here’s what I mean:

“Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

Most research on resveratrol has been conducted on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol has indicated that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. However, those findings were reported only in mice, not in people. In addition, to get the same dose of resveratrol used in the mice studies, a person would have to consume 100 to 1,000 bottles of red wine a day.

Now I ask you: does it make any sense at all to force-feed lab rats with a dosage that’s so ridiculously high that humans could never replicate it? Sure, they might be able to fabricate a pill with that much resveratrol, but what’s the fun of that? Can you enjoy your Resveratrol pill with food, friends and family? Can you raise a toast with your pill? Share a particularly good pill with your wine-loving friends? Lovingly collect your favorite vintages of your Resveratrol pill?

I don’t think so. I say we should drink red wine because we love it, and take our “health benefits” from sitting down to a good meal where we nourish our bodies and our relationships with friends and family. (And if you know any mice that would enjoy some of our wine, we’ll gladly share with them, too.) Cheers!


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