Yes, I\’m banking on the French Paradox, a phenomenon first noted by an Irish doctor in the early 19th century. It refers to the relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease among French adult males, even though their diet tends to be high in saturated fats.
It is suggested that the explanation lies in their regular consumption of red wine, one of the ingredients of which – resveratrol – is believed to help fight cancer, heart problems and degenerative nerve diseases.
Not entirely sure about that. I\’ve heard an alternative explanation. Spcifically about the Gascon diet. That people in that region have been eating a diet very high in animal fats for a couple of thousand years: those genetic markers for diseases caused by such a diet have been bred out of the population as those with them died before reproducing some 1500 or more years ago.
I\’d rather, of course, believe the red wine story (indulging as I do in a copa or three to wash down the churrasquera here) but I\’m not wholly convinced. Does anybody know whether studies have been done on immigrants to such high fat eating areas to tease out whether it is genetic or wine based?