BOCA RATON, Fla., June 24 William S. Gruss, M.D.,board-certified cardiologist and author of the best-selling book onresveratrol, A CARDIOLOGIST'S GUIDE TO ANTI-AGING, ANTIOXIDANTS & RESVERATROL,praises the latest research on resveratrol by a team of scientists in Madison,Wisconsin, published June 2008 [PLoS1, available onlinehttp://www.plosone.org/home.action ].
This newest study on resveratrol shows that low-dose resveratrol inhibitedgenes that cause age-related health problems, prolonging life-span. (Previousstudies showed high doses were shown to stimulate the SIRT1 gene, which playsa role in extending life span.) Low-dose resveratrol consumption does not seemto activate the SIRT1 gene.
"This supports human studies showing that red wine or red wine supplementscontaining resveratrol are especially beneficial for heart health," says Dr.Gruss. "It's a very exciting study. It identifies the role of resveratrol insupporting heart health at the genetic level."
Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid polyphenol commonly found in red wine. TheFrench Paradox, the phenomenon of dramatically lower rates of death due toheart disease in France compared to the U.S., has stimulated massive researchinto compounds of red wine. Many of the well-known heart benefits of red winehave been attributed to resveratrol.
"Resveratrol has emerged as one of the most fascinating and compellingnutritional components in modern scientific research," says Dr. Gruss.
Resveratrol has been the focus of ground-breaking anti-aging research byscientists at Harvard University (Baur, 2006) and in France (Lagouge, 2006).These and previous studies established resveratrol as the only known compoundto extend life-span of vertebrate (mouse, fish) and invertebrate (yeast,roundworms, fruit flies) life forms.
Resveratrol Inhibits Aging Genes
Prior to the resveratrol research, the only known method to extendlife-span was a near-starvation diet. Caloric restriction (CR) has been foundto retard aging and physiological decline. CR is so restrictive that it is notpractical for humans as a way of prolonging life-span.
In the study, researchers fed one group of mice a control diet, one groupa calorie restricted diet, and one a low dose of resveratrol (equivalent toabout 350mg a day for humans). They found "a striking transcriptional overlapof CR and resveratrol in heart, skeletal muscle and brain."
"The genetic profile in brain, heart and skeletal muscle tissue of themice on CR and resveratrol were nearly identical as they aged. They were farhealthier than the control mice," explains Dr. Gruss.
Genetic and Functional Prevention of Cardiac Aging by Resveratrol and CR
Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. According to thestudy, cardiac function declines with age in both mice and humans.
"The most exciting conclusion from this study is that CR and resveratrolalmost completely prevented the age-related decrease in an important parameterof heart health-the myocardial performance index, an overall assessment ofcardiac function," says Dr. Gruss. "Researchers concluded that resveratrolprevented cardiac aging at both the genetic and functional levels."
Comparing young and old mice fed the control diet, there were 1,029 genesthat changed as the mice got older. CR opposed the changes in 921 (90%) of theage-related genes, with 536 of the genes making a significant difference.Resveratrol opposed 947 (92%) of age-related changes as the mice got older,with 522 of the genes representing highly significant differences between theold control and old resveratrol groups.
Changes in genes are considered one of the major biomarkers of aging.Supplementing with resveratrol at low doses is a "likely robust interventionin the retardation of cardiac aging," according to the study's authors.
Genetic Prevention o