The compound resveratrol, found in red wine, has been linked to several health benefits from studies. Now researchers have found that when resveratrol is given to bees, they consume less food.
Scientists from Arizona State University, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Harvard Medical School, have tested the effects of the chemical resveratrol on the honey bee. The scientists tested the effects of resveratrol on the lifespan, learning ability, and food perception in honey bees. This follows on from a previous Digital Journal report into the effects of the red wine chemical on lowering obesity.
Their research indicated that resveratrol extended the lifespan of honey bees by 33 to 38 percent. In addition, the compound seemed to change the decisions that bees make about food by triggering a "moderation effect" when they eat. For this the scientists looked at the bees' sensitivity to sugar and their willingness to consume it. With this, it was shown that bees given the compound were less sensitive to sugar. The bees basically changed their perception about food.
This led to the bees that received the drug decreasing their food intake. The scientists concluded that resveratrol may be working by some mechanism that is related to caloric restriction (which can, under certain circumstances, extend lifespan in diverse organisms).
Previous scientific studies on resveratrol show that it lengthens the lifespan of organisms ranging from unicellular yeast to fruit flies and mice. However, some of the research is controversial. Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, which is a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal Aging. The reference is:
Brenda Rascón et al. The lifespan extension effects of resveratrol are conserved in the honey bee and may be driven by a mechanism related to caloric restriction. Aging, 2012