Researchers at UCLA have been able to prove that a little ethanol can go a long way to increasing a life span – the life span of a worm that is. While the worms, known as Caenorhabditis elegans – typically live for 15 days, their life spans increased to 20 to 40 days when they ingested very small amounts of ethanol. The same ethanol found in your favorite libation. The researchers are not quite sure as to why the worm’s lives were extended, but they found that only a very small amount of ethanol was required – exposing worms to an increased level of ethanol did not increase their longevity. You might say big deal, it’s only a worm, but the surprising fact is that half of the worm’s genes correspond to human genes. Besides the work at UCLA, Spanish researchers found in another controlled study of 67 men, that drinking wine or eating grapes reduced the inflammation and plaque on artery walls. The Spaniards analyzed the chemicals affecting inflammation and plaque build-up on artery walls before consuming the wine and grapes, and after. Finding that wine drinking and grape eating definitely helped the human heart. I’m pretty sure they are not giving us a green light to go out and get wasted, but as Aristotle always said, everything with moderation. Drink up and enjoy the benefits.