More Light Shed on How Resveratrol Benefits Health

A recent study published in the Journal Cell Metabolism sheds more light on exactly how resveratrol improves health. In the study, scientists at Harvard bred a group of mice (Knockout Mice) without the suspected anti-aging gene SIRT1. Resveratrol was fed to these mice, and also to a group of ‘normal’ mice with the SIRT1 gene.
The results of the study show that SIRT1 activation is responsible for many – but not all – of the benefits of resveratrol. Specifically, the Knockout mice without SIRT1 did not experience the metabolic, vascular, and anti-inflammatory benefits of resveratrol that the normal mice with SIRT1 did.  However, SIRT1 was found not to be responsible for all of Resveratrol’s benefits. Both the Knockout Mice and normal mice enjoyed resveratrol’s positive effects of glucose and improved liver health. 
Editor’s Note: There has been much wrangling in the scientific community in the past few years about how resveratrol works - Much of which has been between pharmaceutical companies with an eye toward harnessing resveratrol’s health properties. One company, Sirtris Pharmaceutical – which was purchased by GSK for over $700 billion – has focused its efforts on drugs that activate SIRT1. It appears –based on this study - that they are ‘on target’ so to speak.  But this study also reveals that resveratrol is more than just a SIRT1 activator. As stated above, resveratrol, irrespective of SIRT1, improved glucose function and liver health. This begs the question – is resveratrol – a naturally found, non-patentable molecule – superior to the lab made molecules Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is developing? Is there a need for these single target lab made molecules if resveratrol does what they might do, and more? In any case, irrespective of this, these new chemical entity molecules that activate sirtuins are and will continue to be developed.   To this editor, what is exciting is that there are seven members of the sirtuin family of enzymes – Sirtuins 1 – 7.  SIRT1 (sirtuin 1), as this and many resveratrol studies have shown, is very beneficial (and essential) to healthy lifespan. SIRT3 and SIRT6 are also showing great promise in preliminary studies. But for now, and perhaps even 100 years from now, resveratrol is here for our benefit.  

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