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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-08, 13:44
Frederick's Avatar
Frederick Frederick is offline
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Default Too good to be true?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/li...in_page_id=1770

Brandy can ward off heartattacks

Armagnac brandy that is often derided as the poor cousin of Cognac has been found to possess amazing health enhancing qualities.

Research has shown that the famous drink from the south west of France helps prevent heart disease and battles obesity.

Boffins at Bordeaux University showed that a moderate daily dose of Armagnac - France's oldest eau-de-vie - could lengthen life.

People who live in the Gascony area of France where Armagnac is made live five years longer than average in French, despite puffing on cigarettes all day.

Armagnac is distilled in a unique way and is aged in oak casks - and it is that combination which is thought to produce its health enhancing make-up.

Experiments have shown that a modest dose of Armagnac each day could reduce the likelihood of heart disease, and even fight the flab.

Professor Nicholas Moore from the University of Bordeaux said he began experimenting with the drink because of the low incidence of heart disease in the Gascony region.

He said: "The study started because in the south west area of France there are some of the lowest cardio vascular disease rates in the world.

"Various theories have been put forward about why this should be; wine, Mediterranean diet and a stress-free life were all considered. And they might have some effect.

"But we thought that maybe Armagnac could be another reason. So we tested de-alcolised Armagnac on human platelets in a test tube.

"The effects were that it had an anti-platelet effect and acted in a similar way to the anti-thrombosis drug Plavix.

"While platelets are required for clotting when the skin is broken, they can also lead to heart attacks when they clot in the wrong place.

"We tested it on rats and found that thrombosis decreased. So then we tested it on humans.

"Some volunteers had three centilitres of Armagnac a day, and the others had the same amount of Vodka, which was the same alcoholic strength.

"The positive effects were there on the humans who had Armagnac, which showed that small amounts daily will help prevent heart disease.

"What we are trying to do now is identify and extract the active component.

"Armagnac is distilled in a specific way and is aged in oak casks for years not months.

"It is likely to be this combination that produces the positive effects by changing the chemical make-up of the liquid.

"We also showed that the longer the Armagnac is aged the more it loses its anti-platelet qualities. The best age is between five and ten years.

"The longer it sits in the oak casks above ten years the bigger the molecules get and the less effective they become at batling platelets.

"There are two types of clotting that platelets are involved with. The first is the adhesion to collagen which helps when the skin is broken, and that is normal.

"The second is the clotting that leads to heart attacks, when the blood clots in the wrong place.

"Armagnac doesn't interfere with the first type of clotting, but is beneficial with the second type.

"And it is better than aspirin because it doesn't thin the blood.

"New research that we haven't yet published also shows that Armagnac might have other health benefits to do with obesity.

"Rats were shown to lose weight when given Armagnac. It reduced consumption and appeared to battle the food once it had been consumed.

"The health benefits don't required the alcohol and it is important that the best amount to have seems to be three centilitres a day. More than that could have bad effects.

"But in moderation it could guard against blood clotting, possibly reduce obesity and lead to a longer life."

Amanda Garnham, from the Bureau National Interprofessional de L'Armagnac, said: "Originally Armagnac was a medicine and people have known here about its health benefits for centuries.

"It is good to have that anecdotal evidence proven in a laboratory.

"It seems that Armagnac does indeed help the heart, guards against thrombosis and now it looks as if it helps keep you thin.

"It can be made form ten types of grapes so there is a lot of variety and there is an Armagnac for everybody.

"It is not just a drink for men either, women drink it just as much.

"Here in the Gascony region the old boys still work out in the fields, smoke like chimneys and always have just a small amount of Armagnac each day.

"The research seems to suggest that it is not the alcohol that is the reason, but either the oak casks or the vine itself."

Even in the 14th century, the benefits of Armagnac were written down and in 1313 Prior Vital Dufor, a Cardinal, claimed it had 40 virtues.

A translation stated: "It makes disappear redness and burning of the eyes, and stops them from tearing; it cures hepatitis, sober consumption adhering.

"It cures gout, cankers and fistula by ingestion, restores the paralysed member by massage and heals wounds of the skin by application.

"It enlivens the spirit, partaken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and retards senility.

"And when retained in the mouth, it loosens the tongue and emboldens the wit, if someone timid from time to time himself permits."
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-08, 21:38
Rachel1 Rachel1 is offline
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Well, yes, I suspect it's too good to be true. Still I suppose a shot a day or so can't hurt, if you like the stuff. Personally, I don't like alcohol and will just stick with low carb!

Rachel
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Feb-17-08, 22:42
TBoneMitch TBoneMitch is offline
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I like wine and alcool in many of its forms, and believe it confers some health benefits.

But please note that Gascony is the world's capital of foie gras.

Duck and duck foie gras are eaten daily there. Lots of animal fat in the gascony diet.

I visited in 2003 and let me tell you, it is very easy to follow a high animal fat diet=)

Could it also explain the low heart disease rates of the inhabitants?

Methinks it could.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 01:33
amandawald amandawald is offline
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oh puleeeeeze - what percentage of people in the area drink Armagnac every day for it to have an effect on the general population?

I live in Germany where they make good beer, raspberry schapps and other wicked things - but not every German I know drinks these things every day!!! I really can't imagine that all people in this area drink this brandy every day either...

Sometimes people can't see things that are staring them in the face!!! I just recently read that the people in this area are noted for being famous examples of the "French Paradox" because they eat such a high-fat diet but still remain healthy... duh.

Must dash out and get some French cheese - yum yum
amanda wood
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 06:00
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Default

It is not the Armagnac. It's the food that is typically consumed by those who consume Armagnac regularly. Those who consume vodka instead probably don't consume the same foods. That study is too narrow to be of any use.

"Those who drink bottled water are healthier than those who drink tap water. Study finds."

Erroneous conclusion that will nonetheless be accepted as fact which in turn will see people sacrifice good food for more bottled water. So they eat crappy food only to be able to buy bottled water and finally to see no benefit to it after all. Confusion ensues, this must not be the right kind of bottled water. Let's try the other brands. And round we go. "There is an Armagnac for everybody."

The answer is in the wealth of the person drinking the bottled water or the Armagnac. It's much more expensive to drink bottled water all the time than tap water. The same is true of Armagnac versus vodka. Those who are wealthier also eat better food. Thus, they are healthier not because of the beverage they drink but because of the food the eat.
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 07:05
sln88 sln88 is offline
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but, if you read it, it says:

"Some volunteers had three centilitres of Armagnac a day, and the others had the same amount of Vodka, which was the same alcoholic strength.

"The positive effects were there on the humans who had Armagnac, which showed that small amounts daily will help prevent heart disease.

So, they were not necessarily comparing people with different diets(although the study does not mention diets, so who knows). They also mention finding the anti clotting property in a test tube and the weight reducing effect on fats.

Unless it is carby, I guess it could not hurt. I am not a big drinker tho, so....
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 07:58
M Levac M Levac is offline
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In vitro means nothing. What matters is in vivo.
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  #8   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 08:02
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moggsy moggsy is offline
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It's The Daily Mail . Half of what they say is "too good to be true" with the other half being "too bad to be true."
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  #9   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 08:50
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Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Sounds like marketing to me.
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  #10   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 09:37
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Frederick Frederick is offline
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Does anyone give any credence to the "wine is good for you" studies?
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  #11   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 09:40
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Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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A little although I think it is more likely there's something in grape skins that is good for you than the wine itself.
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  #12   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 09:59
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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I've always preferred Armagnac over Cognac. One thing I noticed when living in SW France is that the people tend to eat more veggies & meat and less bread & pasteries than other parts of France, esp. the tourist traps. Dinners at peoples' houses or restaurants in Pau & Toulouse typically included few or no grains; desert was cheese and fruit, followed by the mandatory tisane.

Last edited by deirdra : Mon, Feb-18-08 at 10:04.
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 11:30
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KarenJ KarenJ is offline
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Thanks for the chuckle, that article was funny!

Quote:
restores the paralysed member by massage


What does THAT mean?

Quote:
People who live in the Gascony area of France where Armagnac is made live five years longer than average in French, despite puffing on cigarettes all day.


I love that. Wasn't there also a little bit about smoking in the China study (the real one)? Must move to France and buy some cigarettes & booze.

Quote:
"It is not just a drink for men either, women drink it just as much.


That was funny. Reminds me of a deodorant commercial from the 70's.
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  #14   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 21:15
Frederick's Avatar
Frederick Frederick is offline
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Plan: Atkins - Maintenance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdra
I've always preferred Armagnac over Cognac. One thing I noticed when living in SW France is that the people tend to eat more veggies & meat and less bread & pasteries than other parts of France, esp. the tourist traps. Dinners at peoples' houses or restaurants in Pau & Toulouse typically included few or no grains; desert was cheese and fruit, followed by the mandatory tisane.


I've had a few Armagnac brandies that were excellent. Francis Darroze 73 was probably one of the best brandies I've ever tasted. I think the good Armagnacs compare favorably to the Cognacs, especially for the price range. However, in my view, the top aged cognacs have a silky smoothness to it that is without peer.

That's been my experience too when spending time in France. Meals were comprised of various meats, fish, seasonal veggies, lots of fats and butter used in copious amounts, and foie gras with just about every meal.
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Feb-18-08, 22:39
Beth1708 Beth1708 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Levac
In vitro means nothing. What matters is in vivo.


Well, here, could it be in vino that matters?

Well, sure, they are talking about brandy, but isn't red wine just as good?



Beth
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