moderate drinkers

  1. Red wine: exercise in a glass

    You might think the only "exercise" you'll get from drinking wine comes from lifting the glass -- or maybe struggling to open the bottle.

    But it turns out resveratrol, the famous "red wine antioxidant," can actually trick the body into thinking it's getting some actual exercise -- giving you a big-time metabolic boost with every little sip.

    In just 30 days, 11 obese-but-healthy volunteers -- as healthy as obese people can be, anyway -- given 150 mg of resveratrol a day had real and measurable changes throughout their bodies.

    They shaved five points off their blood pressure, lowered their blood sugar, and even reduced their levels of liver fat. In fact, just about the only thing it didn't do would be one thing you'd really hope for the most -- because none of the volunteers actually lost any weight.

    I know. So much for the "red wine diet."

    But while they didn't look any different from the outside, what took place on the inside was nothing short of amazing: The researchers wrote in Cell Metabolism that the volunteers had dramatically slower metabolisms during sleep.

    These were the kinds of changes normally seen in people who try the impossible-to-follow ultra-low calorie diet... except these volunteers didn't cut back on their calories at all.

    The only "catch" here is that you can't expect to get these types of benefits from red wine alone -- because while it might be the tastiest way to get the antioxidant, it's not actually the best way to get it.

    In fact, you'd need between 50 and 100 glasses of red wine a day to get the 150 mg of resveratrol used in the study!

    So clearly, if you want the benefits of resveratrol, you're going to have to invest in a quality supplement or an antioxidant blend with resveratrol in it. It's worth the money: Other studies have shown that it can protect the heart, save your vision, reduce blood sugar levels and even help you live longer.

    But don't toss the wine, either. It's loaded with polyphenols that can boost your heart health and stimulate your immune system.

    And booze in general is packed with benefits: Studies have also shown that moderate drinkers who enjoy any type of alcohol live longer, healthier lives than people who don't drink.

    So get a little exercise tonight and raise a glass to your lips. It's the best workout of all.

    Resveratrol isn't the only way to boost your health and longevity -- keep reading for something even simpler.

  2. The myth of the 'senior moment'

    The "senior moment" -- it's one of the most common stereotypes in movies and on television. But the "senior moment" used so often for cheap laughs isn't nearly as "common" as you've been led to believe.

    In fact, most seniors barely experience any significant form of cognitive decline over the years.

    If you're a senior yourself, you already knew that -- and you're probably more than a little annoyed by those constant portrayals of doddering oldsters who can't remember what they had for breakfast.

    Which is why you likely won't be surprised to hear about a recent study that found that two-thirds of all seniors experience very little cognitive decline in their golden years.

    For ten years, researchers tracked 1,049 nuns, priests, and monks between the ages of 56 and 102 who were dementia-free at the start of the study and gave them annual cognitive tests.

    They found that only a third of the volunteers suffered either a moderate or rapid cognitive decline, with the rest experiencing declines so small that one of the authors of the study said it wasn't much of a change at all.

    But while the study published in the journal Age and Aging proves that you can remain sharp even as the years go by, too many doctors still assume that a failing memory is a normal part of growing old.

    So when older patients complain that they can't quite remember as well as they used to, docs often just shrug it off.

    "You're just getting older," they say. "Nothing to worry about."

    That's just patronizing and insulting -- because a failing memory could be something to worry about after all. Docs who can't or won't take it seriously aren't worth remembering anyway.

    In many cases, the little slips written off as senior moments – and even some cases of dementia itself -- are actually the warning signs of completely fixable problems, including sleep disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and drug side effects.

    A good naturopathic physician can help get it all straightened out in no time.

    And if -- like most seniors -- you haven't experienced any memory problems, there are steps you can take right now to help keep it that way.

    A number of studies have found that moderate drinkers have a lower risk for dementia, including one that found a drink or two a day can slash the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 40 percent. (Read about it here.)

    Other studies have found that sleep, B vitamins, coffee, and the pigment astaxanthin can all help protect the brain and lower your risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

    I'll have more on another study based on the same group of priests and nuns tomorrow -- one that blows another aging stereotype right out of the water.

    Stay tuned.

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