Muscadine Wine: The Southern Secret
Mild to moderate wine consumption has long been linked to health and longevity because it contains high levels of polyphenols. These are compounds that have the ability to reduce DNA damage. These phenolic compounds, often termed “antioxidants,” are now becoming a major focus in the anti-aging world. One wine variety stands out among the rest because it contains more antioxidants and anti-aging properties than any other. Every southern girl’s first love and every wine connoisseur’s punch line…Muscadine wine.
Muscadine grapes, or Vitis rotundifolia, are truly America’s native grape. Their story and tang are
deeply rooted in southern culture, and they are now being recognized for more than their unique heritage. Genetically, muscadines contain 20 chromosomes compared to the usual 19 of other
grape varieties. This extra chromosome contributes to its super phenolic properties. Many different antioxidants are found in muscadine grapes, but there are two that have been studied and linked to longevity that are found at significantly high levels: Resveratrol, and Ellagic Acid.
Ellagic acid has been recently highlighted for its ability to reduce inflammation. In an Oregon State University study, ellagic acid slowed both growth and formation of fat cells. Fat cells are storage tanks of energy, and are important for maintaining a healthy metabolism. However, when they grow excessively in number and size, they begin releasing proinflammatory proteins. To avoid excess inflammation, fat cells need to be maintained within a certain range. Ellagic acid has this capability, which gives muscadine grapes very unique health properties because ellagic acid is not found in other grape varieties.
Resveratrol is found at high levels in many red wine varieties but it is highest in the muscadine grape. Resveratrol is well studied for its ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but more recent studies have found it also stimulates longevity genes. Their activation drives DNA repair, metabolism, and many other processes that are essential to anti-aging. The ability of resveratrol to directly stimulate these processes is the thread between muscadine wine, health, and longevity.
Muscadine Wine and the future of Anti-aging
Inflammation is deemed the source of aging. Combating inflammation is essential to longevity, which is why resveratrol and ellagic acid are beneficial. A great source of these and other antioxidants is muscadine wine. It is both youthful on the pallet and on the body, and so has gained headway in both the wine and the anti-aging world.