It’s always great when you hear about health studies proving the benefits of dark chocolate and red wine. This one doesn’t further commend red wine for the human diet yet, but it could in the future. It turns out resrevatrol, a compound found in red wine, has amazing health benefits for bees.
Researchers at Norwegian University of Life Sciences chose bees for their study because they live in a hierarchical society similar to ours. Their jobs have an affect on their longevity; bees and people with more dangerous jobs have higher mortality rates.
The researchers divided wild-type honey bees into different populations, feeding some populations mash with resveratrol and others mash without. For all the populations, bees had unlimited access to sugar water.
Bees who ate resveratrol lived considerably longer, more than 30 percent longer than the non-resveratrol bees. Researchers think this is because the compound worked as a kind of diet regulator. Bees that ate normal mash drank more of the sugar water, while resveratrol-fed bees were able to regulate how much sugar they took in.
What’s not known is how resveratrol would affect our relationship with sugar. Our thoughts and attitudes toward food are obviously much more complex than a bee’s, so one compound might not change our perceptions.
The researchers also made another finding: When it comes to bees and resveratrol, less is more. Populations that got lower doses of the compound lived a bit longer than those with high doses. So just like red wine and sugar, resveratrol is best in moderation.