In developed countries, much of the population now survives to the point where chronic age-associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, and kidney disease are the major determinants of illness and death. Studies in numerous species have demonstrated that a reduction in calorie intake of 30 to 50 percent below normal levels can delay the onset of age-related diseases.
"A small molecule SIRT1 activator that safely mimics the ability of dietary restriction to delay age-related diseases would be of great benefit," says study team member Peter Elliott, Ph.D., Sirtris Senior Vice President of Development.
The research team found that among the notable changes were gene sets representing an increase in mitochondrial gene expression in liver and muscle and a decrease in apoptosis, or cell death, across four of the tissues. The team also found that many genetic pathways were similarly altered by EOD feeding or resveratrol treatment: 82 percent (liver); 76 percent (muscle); 96 percent (fat); and 64 percent (heart). This finding supports the idea that resveratrol can mimic many effects of dietary restriction in vivo.
Specifically, researchers found that resveratrol decreased functional decline often seen in the frail and elderly, such as osteoporosis, cataracts, and motor coordination. For example, in general, femurs from the resveratrol-treated mice trended toward better bone properties, suggested that resveratrol could reduce age-induced bone loss in normal mice. Cataract formation was also lessened by resveratrol in a dose-dependent manner. The mice on a SD treated with resveratrol also showed a significant improvement in balance and motor coordination. The resveratrol treated mice also had improved markers for c
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