It is the perfect excuse to crack open a bottle of Chianti and put your feet up.
Resveratrol, the ‘miracle ingredient’ in red wine, credited with warding off a host of ills from old age to cancer, may provide exercise benefits without moving a muscle as it seems to keep bones strong and diabetes at bay.
With previous research endowing resveratrol, which can also be bought in supplement form, with tricking the body into burning off fat, it could be the couch potato’s dream.
Gerald Weissmann, editor of the journal that published the latest research, said: ‘There is overwhelming data showing the human body needs physical activity, but for some of us, getting that activity isn’t easy.
‘Resveratrol may not be a substitute for exercise, but it could slow deterioration until someone could get moving again.’
To study whether resveratrol has similar effects on the body to exercise, French researchers devised an experiment in which rats experienced the weightlessness more usually associated with astronauts in space.