A new research has suggested that eating chocolate, and drinking coffee or tea and wine and coffee could help people live longer.
Findings from the research also showed that it is important to combine them with a zinc supplement. It said taking zinc supplements activates a compound that slows down ageing.
This reverses the ‘internal stress’ that naturally accumulates over the years and has been linked to everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
Zinc is a relatively safe supplement even at high doses and could therefore be taken regularly to help slow ageing, according to the German researchers.
Chocolate, wine, coffee and tea contain the antioxidants polyphenols, which help combat cell damage.
The researchers from the University of Erlangen–Nuremberg found that zinc activates a compound in polyphenols in the lab.
This activation then protects against a gas that is produced as a waste product by cells, according to the research in the journal Nature Chemistry.
According to Mail Online, this study is the first time the effects of this enzyme have been copied without resorting to the chemical properties of metals such as iron or copper.
Excessive exposure to these metals can cause so-called internal stress on their own. Zinc, however, is much less toxic.
Too much iron has also been linked to liver disease, diabetes and even heart failure, while too much copper can cause fever, anaemia and low blood pressure.
Zinc, however, can be tolerated at higher doses with overexposure largely leading to just nausea and a change in your taste.
The researchers therefore hope it can be taken as a supplement or incorporated as part of a drug with fewer side effects.
It is also plausible to add zinc to foods that naturally contain polyphenols. It is already found in high quantities in red meat.
“It is certainly possible wine, coffee, tea or chocolate may well become be available in the future with added zinc,’ lead author ,” Dr Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović, said.
“However, any alcohol content whatsoever would destroy the positive effects of this combination.” This means it could work with alcohol-free wines.