In the new study - which compared the genetic crosstalk of animals on a restricted diet with those fed small doses of resveratrol - the similarities were remarkable, explains lead author Jamie Barger of Madison-based LifeGen Technologies. In the heart, for example, there are at least 1,029 genes whose functions change with age, and the organ's function is known to diminish with age. In animals on a restricted diet, 90 percent of those heart genes experienced altered gene expression profiles, while low doses of resveratrol thwarted age-related change in 92 percent. The new findings, say the study's authors, were associated with prevention of the decline in heart function associated with aging.
In short, a glass of wine or food or supplements that contain even small doses of resveratrol are likely to represent "a robust intervention in the retardation of cardiac aging," the authors note.
That finding may also explain the remarkable heart health of people who live in some regions of France where diets are soaked in saturated fats but the incidence of heart disease, a major cause of mortality in the United States, is low. In France, meals are traditionally complemented with a glass of red wine.
The new resveratrol study is also important because it suggests that caloric restriction, which has been widely studied in animals from spiders to humans, and resveratrol may govern the same master genetic pathways related to aging.
"There must be a few master biochemical pathways activated in response to caloric restriction, which in turn activate many other pathways," explains Prolla. "And resveratrol seems to activate some of these master pathways as well."
The new findings, accordin
|Contact: Tomas Prolla|
University of Wisconsin-Madison