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Can You Really Extend Your Life Span with this Resveratrol?

September 29, 2009 | 92,056 views
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grapes, resveratrolIn 2003, research showed that resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical, was able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells. The results ignited flames of hope for an anti-aging pill. According to the findings, resveratrol could activate a gene called sirtuin1, which is also activated during calorie restriction in various species.

Since then studies in nematode worms, fruit flies, fish, and mice have linked resveratrol to longer lives. Other studies with only resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, and protection against Alzheimer’s.

Resveratrol is found in grapes and red wine, and has particularly been associated with the so-called 'French Paradox' -- the low incidence of heart disease and obesity among the French, despite their relatively high-calorie diet and levels of wine consumption.

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

If you want to stay healthy and extend your lifespan, eating right, exercising, optimizing your vitamin D levels and addressing emotional challenges at their root cause would be a great place to start.

But assuming you are already leading a healthy lifestyle, resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in certain fruits, vegetables and cocoa, may be worth looking into.

Resveratrol is unique among antioxidants because it can cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect your brain and nervous system, and studies show that its benefits are wide reaching, including:

  • Protecting your cells from free radical damage

  • Inhibiting the spread of cancer, especially prostate cancer

  • Lowering your blood pressure

  • Keeping your heart healthy and improving elasticity in your blood vessels

  • Normalizing your anti-inflammatory response

  • Helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Because resveratrol appears to be so effective at warding off many diseases associated with aging, it is often referred to as a “fountain of youth” that can extend lifespan.

Promising Studies Show Resveratrol’s Anti-Aging Effects

Animal studies have shown that resveratrol helped overweight mice run farther and live about 20 percent longer. It has even been found to increase the lifespan of human cells.

Further, in a study published in the journal Nature, scientists fed one group of mice a high-fat diet consisting of 60 percent fat calories. The mice developed signs of incipient diabetes, and began dying early deaths.

A second group of mice was fed an identical diet, but were also given large daily doses of resveratrol (the equivalent, for a human, of the amount that would be found in 750 to 1,500 bottles of red wine).

The mice did put on weight, but they avoided the enlarged livers and high blood glucose and insulin that signal diabetes. The resveratrol-fed mice also lived as long as mice on a healthy diet.

Aside from these benefits, a new study revealed that resveratrol stops inflammation with a one-two punch that prevents your body from creating two different molecules known to trigger inflammation -- sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D.

While inflammation is a natural response in your body (it’s a process in which your body’s white blood cells protect you from outside invaders such as bacteria and viruses), it’s possible for your body to exist in a chronically inflamed state.

Chronic inflammation is not a beneficial bodily response, and in fact has been linked to numerous chronic diseases including heart disease.

Further, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals has already developed a resveratrol pill that was used in a trial on people with untreated diabetes. The results? Lowered glucose and insulin levels without any changes in diet or taking other drugs.

Should You Take Resveratrol to Extend Your Lifespan?

It’s interesting to note that GlaxoSmithKline recently purchased Sirtris for nearly three quarters of a billion dollars.

Why? Because Sirtris is hard at work developing an anti-aging resveratrol pill, and if they’re able to develop a drug that could slow down all diseases, it would be an FDA-approvable blockbuster of unprecedented scope.

I would venture to say that scientists are hard at work on this as we speak.

Resveratrol’s benefits do look promising. Resveratrol seems to produce many similar benefits as exercise, including lowering insulin levels, which is a key to fighting disease and staying young. I also believe it is the reason why calorie restriction works to extend lifespan.

But would I suggest replacing exercise with resveratrol? No way, though I do suspect it is a powerful addition to exercise, and I personally take resveratrol because of this belief.

If you are interested in trying out some resveratrol for yourself, there are numerous products already on the market. Be sure to look for one made from muscadine grapes that uses WHOLE grape skins and seeds, as this is where many of the benefits are concentrated.

Still, I maintain that the best way to avoid chronic disease and live a long, healthy life is to follow these 10 basic tenets of optimal health.

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