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In Vino Veritas – Red Wine Ingredient Extends Yeast Lifespan By 70%

  August, 26 2003 7:44
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Good news! An ingredient found in red wine can extend lifespan by up to 70% - if you're yeast, that is.

It's well known that caloric restriction - eating fewer calories - can extend lifespan across a range of species, but most of us would prefer to have our cake, eat it and still live longer. In a report published online by Nature this week, David A. Sinclair and colleagues report several drug-like molecules that can achieve this in the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These plant polyphenols work by activating common enzymes, such as Sir2 in yeast or SIRT1 in humans, which have been linked to calorically restricted life extension in creatures such as nematode worms. One molecule, resveratrol, is abundant in red wine and has previously been found to exert a protective effect against cancer, atherosclerosis and other age-related diseases.

A word of warning - before one can endorse a strict Rioja regimen, the safety and effectiveness of the compounds need to be evaluated rigorously in higher organisms such as laboratory mice.

Author contacts:

David Sinclair
via the Public Information Office
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, USA
Tel: +1 617 432 0441
E-mail John_Lacey@hms.harvard.edu or Alison_harris@hms.harvard.edu

Konrad Howitz (Co-author)
BIOMOL Research Laboratories Inc
Plymouth Meeting
Tel: +1 610 941 0430, Ext. 289
Cellphone: +1 610 504 2489
E-mail: howitzkt@biomol.com

Also available online.

(C) Nature press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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