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Jun 04 2008

New hints seen that the antioxidant component of red wine (resveratrol) slows aging

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Red wine is much more potent than was thought in extending human lifespan, researchers say in a new report that is likely to give impetus to the rapidly growing search for longevity drugs.

The study is based on dosing mice with pharmaceutical resveratrol, an ingredient of some red wines. Some scientists are already taking pharmaceutical resveratrol in capsule form.

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.

Sirtris is seeking to develop drugs that activate protein agents known in people as sirtuins.

“The upside is so huge that if we are right, the company that dominates the sirtuin space could dominate the pharmaceutical industry and change medicine,” Dr. David Sinclair of the Harvard Medical School, a co-founder of the company, said Tuesday.

Serious scientists have long derided the idea of life-extending elixirs, but the door has now been opened to drugs that exploit an ancient biological survival mechanism, that of switching the body’s resources from fertility to tissue maintenance. The improved tissue maintenance seems to extend life by cutting down on the degenerative diseases of aging.

The reflex can be prompted by a faminelike diet, known as caloric restriction, which extends the life of laboratory rodents by up to 30 percent but is far too hard for most people to keep to and in any case has not been proven to work in humans.

Research started nearly 20 years ago by Dr. Leonard Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed recently that the famine-induced switch to tissue preservation might be triggered by activating the body’s sirtuins. Sinclair, a former student of Guarente, then found in 2003 that sirtuins could be activated by some natural compounds, including pharmaceutical resveratrol, previously known as just an ingredient of certain red wines.

Sinclair’s finding led in several directions. He and others have tested resveratrol‚Äôs effects in mice, mostly at doses far higher than the minuscule amounts in red wine. One of the more spectacular results was obtained last year by Dr. John Auwerx of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France. He showed that resveratrol could turn plain vanilla, couch-potato mice into champion athletes, making them run twice as far on a treadmill before collapsing.

The company Sirtris, meanwhile, has been testing resveratrol as well as drugs that activate sirtuin. Sirtris reported that its formulation of resveratrol, called SRT501, reduced glucose levels in diabetic patients.

The company plans to start clinical trials of its resveratrol mimic soon. Sirtris’s value to GlaxoSmithKline is presumably that its sirtuin-activating drugs could be used to treat a spectrum of degenerative diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s, if the underlying theory is correct.

Pharmaceutical resveratrol can also be obtained in the form of capsules. University of Wisconsin researchers have concluded that resveratrol can mimic many of the effects of a caloric-restricted diet “at doses that can readily be achieved in humans.”

To obtain pharmaceutical resveratrol click the link below:

https://www.griffinmedical.com/shop/product.php?productid=242&cat=0&page=1

Yours in Health,

Griffin Medical Group (714) 549-6500

www.griffinmedical.com

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