Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Red Wine and Chocolate

Mmmm...chocolate.  My sister once taught me that life is too short for cheap makeup.  (I really believe that, which is why I'm willing to spend $40 for a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer at Sephora.  I was using a sample and discovered it was just the thing I wanted--smooth application, good coverage, light tint, spf 20 or so, and did not cause any problems with my sensitive skin.)  I believe that life is too short for cheap chocolate.  The darker, the better--even up to 100% cacao.

As for wine, well...let me just say that I need to make a run over to Urbano Cellars, Urban Legend, and try out the offerings at Rock Wall, because my wine rack is a little empty.  My rule for wine is to taste a lot of different ones until you find what you like, and then drink that.  It might be $20 a bottle, or $5, or $50.  I do hold onto particular bottles for a "special" occasion and pick up inexpensive pinot grigio at Trader Joe's for everyday drinking.

You'd think that, given my fondness for dark chocolate and wine, I wouldn't be quite so excited about this NPR news article, but let me explain.  Resveratrol May Not Be The Elixir in Red Wine and Chocolate.  Thing is, my second job here in the bay area (which I quickly came to hate) was with a skin care formulations company eager to exploit the newest health craze for patent and profit.  One of those crazes was resveratrol.  Since it had become the poster child for health and longevity, obviously if you rub it on your skin it will be absorbed and produce the same properties.

The JAMA study (it's awesome that you can get the full article) indicates that higher levels of detectable resveratrol in one's system did not influence mortality.  In fact, the highest quartile of resveratrol had the highest mortality rate.  Of course, one cannot draw significant conclusions from this single study.  Perhaps resveratrol is a magic bullet, but only at higher concentrations.  [Note: there are no magic bullets.  Except for silver bullet and werewolves.]  Perhaps the folks who were drinking the most red wine had confounding lifestyle risks, like smoking or cooking over wood fires.

There are things you need to eat in order to stay alive and healthy.  Those are nutrients and vitamins.  Unless you have a deficiency, you don't need to take a single chemical compound in isolation.  When you're spending lots of time and money on supplements, you know who benefits?  The supplement manufacturers.  Eat the food.

Today's exercise: 42 minutes on the elliptical, plus folklorico dance tonight.  Our teacher took it easy on us last week--he was depressed and discouraged after one of the girls withdrew from the class and the performance because of an injury--but I expect he'll be back on his top dynamo form this evening, making us dance until we drop.

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