Red Wine & Aging Update

  by Joyce Gramza  |  December 9th, 2008  |  Published in All, Featured, Health

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Researchers have a new understanding of why a compound in red wine appears to retard aging in the same way as a very low-calorie diet. Writing in the journal, Cell, Harvard Medical School professor of pathology David Sinclair and colleagues reported that increasing the levels of genes called sirtuin genes protects against aging by similar mechanisms in both very simple organisms like yeast, and in mammals.

[If you cannot see the flash video below, you can click here for a high quality mp4 video.]

Interviewee: Christoph Westphal, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
Produced by Joyce Gramza — Edited by James Eagan
Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc.

Universal Mechanism

By Heather Mayer

“This is the first potentially fundamental, root cause of aging that we’ve found,” Sinclair said in a Harvard press release. “There may very well be others, but our finding that aging in a simple yeast cell is directly relevant to aging in mammals comes as a surprise.”

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Ten years ago, Sinclair, working with Leonard Guarente, discovered a yeast gene, that reversed the effects of aging. More recently, they gave mice an extra copy of the mammalian version of the gene, called SIRT-1, confirming their hypothesis that sirtuin, as well as caloric restriction, leads to a longer lifespan.

When stimulated by the red wine chemical resveratrol, or caloric restriction, sirtuins seem to have positive effects on aging and health, according to Sinclair’s research.

The studies showed that sirtuins affect the aging processes in two different ways. They help regulate gene activity, as well as help repair DNA damage.

Regulating gene activity is extremely important because if some genes are turned on at the wrong time, there can be damage done to cells or organs. But, while a sirtuin is off repairing DNA damage — from UV rays or free radicals — it’s not monitoring the genes. This allows the 618 chromatin, which packages the genes, to come apart, allowing the unwanted gene expression.

As the mice aged, Sinclair’s team found there is more DNA damage, forcing sirtuins to leave their cell posts more frequently, allowing more genes to be expressed when they shouldn’t be. Once extra doses of sirtuins were administered to the mice, their average lifespan increased from 24 to 46 percent, according to the study.

Leonard Guarente, Novartis Professor of Biology at MIT, who is not an author on the paper, says in the press release: "This should lead to new approaches to protect cells against the ravages of aging by finding drugs that can stabilize this redistribution of sirtuins over time."

Elsewhere on the Web:

Reseveratrol clinical trials

CALERIE Clinical trials

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  1. Becky says:

    December 9th, 2008 at 11:03 pm (#)

    You was talking about red wine helping in aging and others diseases. What kind of red wine? I don’t know to much about wine but I do like sweet things is there a sweet red wine that helps too. Thank you Becky

  2. Melanie says:

    January 8th, 2009 at 5:09 pm (#)

    I am no expert Becky and maybe someone has done a study of which wines have the highest resveratrol content I don’t know. However I do know that port is a sweeter taste than a lot of your standard wines. It’s also what the oldest person ever to live drank every day so it mustn’t be too low I would guess?

  3. olufemi ogundipe says:

    January 11th, 2009 at 12:37 am (#)

    Question for Dr. Sinclair : does pomogranate juice contain the same active anti-aging ingredient as red wine?

  4. olufemi ogundipe says:

    January 11th, 2009 at 12:40 am (#)

    What about pomogranate juice?. Does it have anti-aging properties like red wine?

  5. Aftercancer says:

    January 14th, 2009 at 3:13 pm (#)

    I know that pomegranate juice is healthy but at this time I don’t think it has been studied with the depth that wine has. I don’t believe that the sweetness or dryness changes the effect.

  6. Scott says:

    January 17th, 2009 at 10:35 pm (#)

    I bought some resveratrol from [Id 5052] and after 30 days my allergies were gone and after 10 days, my hemeriods of 6 years were gone. A friend and associate started using it and he no longer takes his diabeties meds or his high blood preasure pills under the approvel of his doctor. This stuff works. Go to http://www.pubmed. There are more than 23 hundred studies done on resveratrol since 1940.
    Take a look at this video: Video:
    note at 45 seconds into it they talk about resveratrol.
    They say that you need at least 250mg to have the desired effect per serving. In this one capsal there is 400 mg. and you would have to drink 1000 bottles of red wine to get that much resveratrol I have been told.
    Get healthy.

  7. Wine Bottle Holder says:

    February 13th, 2009 at 7:47 pm (#)

    I’ve always read that red wine was good for the heart but if I’m reading this article correctly, you’re saying it’s been shown to slow down aging but to what degree? The lifespan of mice increased but has a long term study ever been done on humans? Very interesting article however :)

  8. Gianni DeFranluca says:

    May 19th, 2009 at 6:43 pm (#)

    Resveratrol doesn’t necessarily stop the aging process, but rather slows it down. It also has been shown by the guys at Sirtris (Now a Glaxo-Smith Kline company) that the health and organ tissue becomes a bit more healthy.

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