Buy wine and live longer - researchers claim 'conclusive' proof

Most people probably buy wine as a short-term treat, a way to relax and socialise with friends, and not as part of a long-term plan to extend their lifespans.

However, new and 'conclusive' research published in Science claims to have indisputably demonstrated the link between resveratrol - a compound found in red wine - and longevity in animals.

The resveratrol, when consumed, directly activates a health and longevity protein, say the Harvard Medical School team.

Critics of previous resveratrol research have argued that laboratory results cannot be reproduced in real life - and may simply be a fluke.

But the Harvard team have now effectively dismissed each stage of such criticism through a combination of methods, including the use of mutant genes on which resveratrol simply does not work.

For the first time, the exact location on the SIRT1 gene that is affected by resveratrol has been identified, allowing the effect to be investigated more closely, and more effective versions of the compound to be developed.

Until that takes place, though, red wine enthusiasts might simply want to continue to buy wine - and make the most of any life-preserving effect the beverage might convey.