• Resveratrol-enriched wine consumed at each meal for three and a half months reverses aging by about three years as shown with an epigenetic age clock.
  • The same wine consumption regimen increases muscle mass by about 300 g over the three-and-a-half-month study period.
  • A body fat mass reduction of 1.6 kg results from the resveratrol-enriched wine consumption protocol.

Biological age is a measure of how well the body functions relative to others in the same age group. Your biological age fluctuates and can be higher or lower than your chronological age in years, depending on relatively poor or good health, respectively. One key contributor to biological age, epigenetic age, is measured with molecular markers on DNA called methylation, where combinations of higher or lower methylation at certain sites on DNA reflect aging. Finding ways to reduce our epigenetic age could pave the way for increasing lifespan along with the number of years we live without disease (healthspan).

Published in an as yet to be peer-reviewed article, Repetto and colleagues from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina show that consuming resveratrol-enriched wine with each meal for three and a half months reverses epigenetic age by about three years in aged adults at risk for cardiovascular complications. This wine-consuming regimen significantly increased muscle mass and reduced body fat as measured at the end of the study. The study’s findings support the notion that consuming wine, especially wine enriched with resveratrol, in moderation can improve body composition and health, potentially extending lifespan.

Wine with High Resveratrol Content Reverses Aging, Increases Muscle, and Reduces Fat

To evaluate how consuming resveratrol-enriched wine impacts healthspan and lifespan, Repetto and colleagues assessed the epigenetic age of aged adults with cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. The researchers found that after consuming the wine enriched with resveratrol at each meal for three and a half months, the study participants showed an average decrease in epigenetic age of three years. These significant results provide evidence that drinking wine with high resveratrol content can reduce epigenetic age, a key contributor to overall biological age, thus potentially increasing healthspan.

(Pastor et al., 2023 | Research Square) Resveratrol-enriched wine consumption reduces epigenetic age by about three years. As the chronological age (blue bars) increased over the study’s three and a half months, the epigenetic age (red bars) diminished by about three years.

Aging typically entails the loss of muscle mass, which can ultimately facilitate frailty, the loss of physical function, and independence from a caretaker. With this in mind, the Argentinian research team measured the effects of consuming the resveratrol-enriched wine on muscle mass. The study participants displayed an average increase of 300 g (~ 0.7 pounds) of muscle at the end of the wine consumption regimen. These results support that consuming resveratrol-enriched wine can increase muscle mass.

(Pastor et al., 2023 | Research Square) Wine with high resveratrol increases muscle mass. Compared to muscle mass at the beginning of the study (blue bar), resveratrol-enriched wine consumption increased muscle mass by about 300 g.

Since elevated body fat mass can contribute to poor cardiovascular function and reduce the number of years lived without experiencing a debilitating disease, Repetto and colleagues measured wine consumption’s effects on body fat. The researchers found that the average fat mass dropped by about 1.6 kg (~3.5 pounds) by the end of the trial, supporting that resveratrol-enriched wine consumption can reduce fat mass.

(Pastor et al., 2023 | Research Square) Resveratrol-enriched wine consumption lowers body fat mass. Compared to initial fat mass readings (blue bar), consuming resveratrol-enriched wine for the study period (red bar) reduced average body fat mass by 1.6 kg.

“To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that a human health clinical trial has been conducted with wine enriched with resveratrol to assess epigenetic aging and body composition,” said Repetto and colleagues. “These findings could be relevant for an improvement in quality of life together with a focus on the prevention of chronic diseases.”

Deciphering Resveratrol’s Anti-Aging Benefits

Not only did this study from the University of Buenos Aires show that the resveratrol-enriched wine reverses epigenetic age, it also demonstrated that the wine increases muscle and reduces fat. Along those lines, consuming this type of wine with added resveratrol could be a way to mitigate age-related conditions like cardiovascular disease, which elevated epigenetic age contributes to. Moreover, improving body composition, with more muscle and less fat, may help to overcome age-related frailty, which can contribute to the severe loss of physical functioning capabilities.

The question remains whether alcohol, as is present in wine, is necessary to combine with resveratrol to obtain these positive effects on epigenetic age. No other study to date has shown whether supplementing with resveratrol reduces human epigenetic age, so it’s uncertain whether resveratrol with alcohol or other wine ingredients are necessary to obtain these results. It’s possible that resveratrol supplementation alone can reduce epigenetic age, increase muscle, and reduce fat.

Resveratrol has been shown to confer anti-aging benefits in animal models. For example, resveratrol delays vascular aging without extending lifespan in aged rats. Resveratrol has also been shown to extend lifespan in fish, fruit flies, and worms. Future clinical studies should examine whether resveratrol alone or with wine’s ingredients are necessary to reduce epigenetic age, increase muscle, and lower fat in aged adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.