A report in Plos One finds that in mice resveratrol causes a change in gene expression patterns very similar to that seen with calorie restriction diets. Resveratrol might extend life just as calorie restriction does without the need to feel constant hunger or to look gaunt.
Resveratrol in high doses has been shown to extend lifespan in some studies in invertebrates and to prevent early mortality in mice fed a high-fat diet. We fed mice from middle age (14-months) to old age (30-months) either a control diet, a low dose of resveratrol (4.9 mg kg−1 day−1), or a calorie restricted (CR) diet and examined genome-wide transcriptional profiles. We report a striking transcriptional overlap of CR and resveratrol in heart, skeletal muscle and brain. Both dietary interventions inhibit gene expression profiles associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle aging, and prevent age-related cardiac dysfunction. Dietary resveratrol also mimics the effects of CR in insulin mediated glucose uptake in muscle. Gene expression profiling suggests that both CR and resveratrol may retard some aspects of aging through alterations in chromatin structure and transcription. Resveratrol, at doses that can be readily achieved in humans, fulfills the definition of a dietary compound that mimics some aspects of CR.
Biogerontology theorist Aubrey de Grey does not expect calorie restriction (CR) or drugs that mimic calorie restriction to boost human longevity by the same percentage amount that they do in mice. Aubrey expects maybe a year or two extra life from a human as a result of CR. If Aubrey is correct then resveratrol might extend life but not by a decade. However, we still do not know whether resveratrol will lower all cause mortality in humans.
Some of the researchers involved in this effort think this result is important because the dose of resveratrol used is low and makes human use of resveratrol more practical.
"This brings down the dose of resveratrol toward the consumption reality mode," says senior author Richard Weindruch, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of medicine and a researcher at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. "At the same time, it plugs into the biology of caloric restriction."
Previous research has shown that resveratrol in high doses extends lifespan in invertebrates and prevents early mortality in mice given a high-fat diet. The new study, conducted by researchers from academia and industry, extends those findings, showing that resveratrol in low doses and beginning in middle age can elicit many of the same benefits as a reduced-calorie diet.
"Resveratrol is active in much lower doses than previously thought and mimics a significant fraction of the profile of caloric restriction at the gene expression level," says Tomas Prolla, a UW-Madison professor of genetics and a senior author of the new report.
That 4.9 mg per kg means 4.9 mg per 2.2 pounds. So a 180 pound person would take 400 mg of resveratrol per day. Or a 150 lb person would take 334 mg per day. You can easily find resveratrol capsules in the range of 100 to 500 mg per capsule. Though one has to consider the possibility that some of these advertised potencies overstate the quality of the products.
The report is part of a new wave of interest in drugs that may enhance longevity. On Monday, Sirtris, a startup founded in 2004 to develop drugs with the same effects as resveratrol, completed its sale to GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million.
Such drugs will take years to come to market. The clinical trials for these drugs will provide us a clearer picture of whether this effect will provide real health benefits.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2008 June 07 11:32 PM Aging Diet Resveratrol|