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Damn. Resveratrol Science Hits a Wall. Whatever, Keep On Drinking…Red Wine

on 04/04/11 at 5:29 pm

Booze News

So, the jury's still out. But pop these babies if you must.

An in-depth analysis shows the red-wine chemical has medical potential but is no fountain of youth.

A leading researcher’s review of more than a hundred studies of resveratrol, the red-wine compound that has spurred millions of dollars of investment by pharmaceutical and nutritional companies, raises more questions than it answers. According to the study, there is substantial evidence that resveratrol can lower the risk of deadly diseases, such as diabetes, heart failure and some types of cancer. But it seems to offer little help at extending lifespan.

Early research found evidence that resveratrol might slow aging on a cellular level. Numerous nutritional supplement companies still tout this when marketing various resveratrol products.

But Dipak Das, a researcher at the University of Connecticut’s Cardiovascular Research Center, reviewed more than 100 studies on resveratrol and said there is no scientific basis for that conclusion. The meta-analysis, titled “Erratum to: Resveratrol and red wine, healthy heart and longevity,” refers to the emerging doubts of resveratrol as an anti-aging compound. It is slated for publication in Heart Failure Reviews.

In early studies, resveratrol was linked to extending the lifespans of fruit flies and tropical killifish. But once the studies moved on to mammals, scientists found that while disease rates still declined with the consumption of resveratrol, the animals didn’t live longer.

The conclusions are puzzling, Das said, because it appears that resveratrol should be able to increase the length of life—researchers found the chemical manipulates genes and increases longevity on the cellular level. “Resveratrol is so powerful it can activate stem-cell survival,” Das said. “So why is it not extending lifespan, by improving the survivability of genes?”

{Full story via Wine Spectator}

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