July 3, 2008

Resveratrol Seen to Boost Quality of Life

A compound found in red wine -- resveratrol -- was found to improve the quality of life of aging mice, but not lengthen their lives, U.S. researchers said.

David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School and Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging placed 1-year-old mice on a standard control diet or every-other-day feeding with or without resveratrol.

Resveratrol produced changes in the gene expression profiles of key metabolic tissues, including liver and muscle, that closely resemble those induced by dietary restriction, the researchers said.

The study, published online in Cell Metabolism, said overall, the animals' health improved under all dietary conditions, as reflected by a reduction of osteoporosis, cataracts, vascular dysfunction and declines in motor coordination. However, the mice lived longer only when they were fed a high-calorie diet, the study said.

In conclusion, long-term resveratrol treatment of mice can mimic transcriptional changes induced by dietary restriction and allow them to live healthier, more vigorous lives, the researchers said in a statement.

In addition to improving insulin sensitivity and increasing survival in -- high-calorie fed -- resveratrol improves cardiovascular function, bone density and motor coordination and delays cataracts, even in non-obese rodents.