Archive for the ‘Life Extension’ Category
A study just published in the journal Nature raises the possibility that expression of longevity enhancing genes can be passed down to future generations – even without changing the future generation’s genetic coding. In other words, the coding sequence of the DNA is not changed, but the selection of what genes are expressed and what genes are silent is changed (this occurrence is also known as epigenetics). In sum, these are chemical changes as opposed to sequencing changes.
For their part, sirtuins, as well as a calorie restricted diets, are known to make proteins that affect such chemical changes. So, a person who takes resveratrol (or who reduces their calorie intake by a third while still consuming the required nutrients) could pass health and longevity onto their later born children.
Note: the amazing effect of epigenetics has been revealed in several recent studies. For instance, one 2010 paper showed that altering cholesterol metabolism in male mice through diet altered their later born offspring’s lipids and cholesterol. Another 2010 study found that male mice who consumed high fat diets had later born daughters who were fatter and who also suffered from Type II diabetes. In both of these studies, changes in DNA sequencing were not present.
Resveratrol has often been called the fountain of youth. So is it?
Because this compound can fight many of the diseases of aging, thereby promoting a healthy lifespan, some might say the answer is yes.
For its part, resveratrol has been shown to fight or prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes among others. According to a recent study from the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is responsible for 12.8% of deaths worldwide, stroke - 10.8%, and diabetes - 2.2%. And in the world’s highest income countries, lung & trachea cancer are responsible for 5.9% of deaths, colon cancer – 3.3%, breast cancer – 1.9%, and Alzheimer’s disease (and other forms of dementia) – 4.1%. What’s more, the rates of many of these diseases are increasing as unhealthy ‘Western’ style diets and physical inactivity (due to more workers working behind desks) spreads globally.
It stands to reason that if resveratrol can treat or prevent many of the diseases of aging, then people taking resveratrol will most likely live longer than they would if they did not take resveratrol. In other words, they will have a much greater chance of living out their natural maximum lifespan in a healthy and active way. Conversely, those not taking resveratrol would be more susceptible to the diseases of aging, and thus would have a greater chance of dying from them.
In sum, because resveratrol fights the diseases of aging, people taking it have a much greater chance of living longer than they would if they did not take it. Further, their additional years would most likely be healthy and active years – not years spent immobilized (perhaps in a hospital bed or home sofa) fighting the diseases of aging.
An experimental GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) drug designed to mimic resveratrol’s sirtuin activating properties has been found to extend the lifespan of obese mice by about 44% according to a recent study conducted by the National Institute on Aging. This study again shows the positive health effect of activating sirtuins (please see the “Life Extension” section of Resveratrol.com for more information on the benefits of sirtuin activation).
Editor’s Note: The really interesting take away/reminder from this study is that Resveratrol, a naturally occurring compound, which has very little - if any - known negative side effects, was found in 2006 – by the Same Researchers – to extend the lifespan of obese mice by 31%.
Resveratrol is available for sale now- unlike the drug used in the study. What’s more, according to GSK, the drug used in the trial will not even be offered to the public; they are going to develop another, similar, drug that is more suitable for human consumption. Further, the dosage equivalent from the above mentioned 2006 resveratrol mouse study can be met with two 1000 mg. 98% pure resveratrol pills per day (the size of 2 ‘standard’ fish oil pills per day).
And if you would like to take a lower dose of resveratrol, there is also good news. Harvard scientist David Sinclair, who led the 2006 study, stated that the high fat diet mice, on the equivalent of 300 mg. of resveratrol per day, showed similar, but less dramatic, results as the ones fed the larger resveratrol doses mentioned above. Further, many recent studies are revealing that a relatively low dose ofresveratrol is effective in fighting heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation (Please see the “Resveratrol Dosage” and “Resveratrol Side Effects” section of Resveratrol.com for more information ).
Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center have shed light on a novel way in which resveratrol improves health – through the stimulation of adiponectin, a hormone released from fat cells which plays an important role in the regulation of blood sugar and energy, and which is found to be lower in obese individuals than in ‘normal’ weight individuals.
According to the study’s senior author Feng Liu, “Our study uncovers a novel mechanism by which resveratrol exerts its health beneficial effect”. Further, according to Dr. Liu, "Results from these studies should be of interest to those who are obese, diabetic and growing older."
The study appeared in the January 7 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Editor’s Note: Several recent studies have concluded that resveratrol does improve insulin sensitivity in people with type two diabetes and obese people at high risk for developing type two diabetes.
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin Madison have demonstrated that sirtuin 3 (Sirt3), a member of the sirtuin family of enzymes, reduces free radicals in cells (free radicals can cause inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis, among other maladies in humans). To do this, Sirt3 alters the metabolism in the cell’s mitochondria.
Also, the researchers determined that caloric restriction (the process of consuming 40% less calories than in a normal diet), up regulates Sirt3 caloric restriction can dramatically increase the lifespan of mice and monkeys, and very likely humans). According to the study’s authors, "This study is the first direct proof for a mechanism underlying the anti-aging effects we observe under caloric restriction."
Editor’s Note: In addition to activating Sirt1 (a sirtuin enzyme associated with preventing and fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease among others, resveratrol also up regulates Sirt3).
A recent study published by German Researchers revealed that resveratrol extends the life of roundworms but the Sirtris Pharmaceuticals drug SRT1720 had no effect on the worm’s life spans. Sirtris Phamaceticals has stated that SRT1720 is hundreds of times more powerful than resveratrol with regard to SIRT1 activation.
What’s more, the amount of resveratrol necessary to extend to extend lifespan was found to be much less than previously thought.
Editor’s Note: This study alludes that resveratrol has other beneficial targets than SIRT1 (for instance, resveratrol also activates other sirtuins including SIRT3, and resveratrol also activates FoxO1 and P53). Also, resveratrol may be much more effective in smaller doses than once thought. In sum, maybe small doses of natural resveratrol will be found superior to pharmaceutical resveratrol like drugs.