In an effort to understand this better a pioneering study was carried out in the mammalian system using the mouse model. Research led by David Sinclair and Jos Baur of the Harvard medical school and Raphael de Cabo, of the National Institute of Ageing, studied the effect of Resveratrol on the motor skills of mice. They analyzed the efficacy with which the mice could balance and walk along a rotating rod before they fell off. Resveratrol- fed mice did a much better job as they grew older and demonstrated excellent endurance.
The subjects of the study were middle-aged rodents that were segregated into 3 groups fed on three different diets –
2. B-High- calorie, high-fat diet
3. C-High-calorie, high-fat diet with Resveratrol
As expected, the group B mice developed undesirable conditions like obesity, inflammation of the heart muscles and a diabetes-like condition. These mice also met with an untimely death. However the group C mice, that were fed with Resveratrol demonstrated the following:
- They did not develop any undesirable health conditions despite their high-calorie diet
- They had the physiology of a normal lean mouse and demonstrated ample activity
- They fared far better in physical tests and aerobic activities in comparison to the group B mice.
- The group C mice were also able to run twice as far without feeling fatigued
- These mice developed the capacity to consume oxygen more efficiently and were able to generate greater energy
- The risk of death in the group C mice was reduced by 30%.
Actually, the group C mice were not prevented from growing big and the high-calorie diet did show on their tubby exteriors. Although they reveled in gluttony, these mice simply did not pay the price for their indulgence, as there was no demonstrable increase in the levels of glucose or insulin. Their life span too received a boost.
This study has been reported in the 2006 November issue of the journal ‘Nature’.