Food & Drink

Scientists Want to Turn Red Wine Into a Pill

Scientists are always sucking the fun out of drinking. The latest proof: Florida-based biotech company Jupiter Orphan Therapeutics Inc.’s mission to develop a red wine pill.

The scientists working on the project want to “mimic the synergistic effect that is found in a glass of red wine without the negative effects of alcohol.” In other words, they want to pack all the purported health benefits of red wine—primarily resveratrol, a phenol found in red grape skins that has been shown to protect against diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s—into pill form, with none of the fun benefits of wine like the flavor, texture and, of course, the alcohol. Buzz kills.

The scientists of Jupiter Orphan Therapeutics Inc. have their work cut out for them. Pure resveratrol is broken down by the liver so quickly that it’s relatively ineffective—you would have to drink 1,000 bottles of wine each day to take in enough resveratrol to effectively fight Alzheimer’s. So the scientists have to figure out a way to pack 1,000 bottles of wine worth of the compound into a pill that isn’t instantly broken down by the liver.

This is just the latest in many attempts to channel wine’s health benefits into pop-and-swallow form, but success remains elusive. Hey, scientists, we have a great idea for how to console yourselves: Drink some wine.