Animals live one-third longer with better health (to reach the equivalent of 150-160 human years) if they are forced to eat 15-35% less calories than normal. Why? The damage too many calories does is damage to the second set of DNA you have in all cells, the DNA in your cell area called your mitochondria. When you damage that mitochondrial DNA, you produce less energy from the same amount of nutrients.
What does this have to do with red wine? Studies suggest that the resveratrol in red wine (it gives it some of its red color) protects your mitochondrial DNA like calorie restriction does by turning on a chemical named sirtuin and the DAF-16 gene complex.
Your mitochondria are your energy factories – so if you want to regain the energy of a 20-year-old, you want to keep your mitochondria young. Thus, providing extra sirtuin activators, in the form of pills, may help protect your energy-factory-creating chromosomes, letting you live with the energy of youth for many, many, more years. Fourteen pills that do this are at different phases in the FDA approval process now. So what are we to do until those pills are tested and made available to us? Try to reduce your calories by 15%.
However, other recent data throws the entire Sweet-16 gene theory (DAF-16 is the gene that calorie restriction activated) in doubt for humans. This data indicates that a close genetic relative of ours, monkeys, had no life extension benefit from 30% calorie restriction. This may then also throw the rationale for resveratrol into doubt.
There is another gene complex that is potentially important for major life extension (living 120-160 years versus 80-100 years): DAF-2 – a complex that quiets inflammation in your body. And there are plenty of things you can do to reduce inflammation in your body that may be easier than cutting out 15% of your calories.
Do as Dr. Oz teaches: Avoid the five food felons (saturated and trans fat, added sugars, syrups, or non-100% whole grains). Season your veggies with fresh herbs, not butter and salt. Walk 10,000 steps a day and do a little resistance and cardio each week. Avoiding even secondhand tobacco. Watch your waistline. Nurture friends and passion in life. And try meditating twice a day.
All that said, you should still enjoy a glass of red or white wine. Consuming just 1 glass of red wine a day for women and 2 glasses a day for men has been proven to provide a variety of benefits for the heart. Its polyphenols protect the skin from UV light and keep it elastic. It also strengthens the cross-linking of collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
-Young Dr. Mike, The Enforcer