What if you could live to be 150 years old? Well, as it turns out, this rhetorical-sounding question is proving to be less a whimsical musing and more so a very sincere possibility.
A new paper published in Science by lead researcher David Sinclair found that an ingredient in red wine known as resveratrol could be the key to prolonging life dramatically.
An ingredient in red wine known as resveratrol is said to have anti-aging properties.
Credit: freedigitalphotos.net suphakit73
This isn’t the first time Sinclair has spoken about the benefits of resveratrol. About 10 years ago, he published work claiming that wine could potentially prolong life. His work proved to be influential as it captured the attention of many in the public as well as in the pharmaceutical industry. Soon enough, major drug companies began attempting to develop drugs that mimicked the ingredient resveratrol in hopes of reducing the effects of aging, according to Boston.com.
Now, years later, Sinclair and company are claiming that their new research further proves their claim that resveratrol is indeed the key to prevent aging. In their research, it was discovered that 117 drugs intended to fight certain diseases of aging were all targeting the single enzyme SIRT1. The chemical resveratrol is believed to have an anti-aging effect by increasing the activity of this particular enzyme, as reported by the Daily Mail.
What’s more, Sinclair received backing by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. The company has already begun work on a synthetic version of resveratrol based on Sinclair’s research. The newly developed drug is about 100 times stronger than a glass of wine. So far, there have been 4,000 synthetic activators of the new drug. The top ones are being used on humans with diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, according to The Inquisitr.
Though they are currently only testing the new drug on patients with serious illnesses, soon enough they will begin testing to see if there are any benefits for people who are considered healthy. “Some of us could live to 150, but we won’t get there without more research,” Sinclair said to the Daily Mail.
“Ultimately, these drugs would treat one disease, but unlike drugs of today, they would prevent 20 others,” Sinclair continued. “In effect, they would slow aging.”
“We’re finding that aging isn’t the irreversible affliction that we thought it was,” Sinclair also said.
So far, there have been very promising results. The synthetic resveratrol was tested on a group of mice. Researchers had one group of thin and healthy mice and another group of overweight mice. They gave the latter group the resveratrol and found that when pit against the healthier mice, they were able to run twice as fast and lived 15 percent longer.
“My research has been criticized because it sounds too good to be true,” Sinclair told The Australian. “This paper shows it is true.”
In light of the potentially ground-breaking research, the Harvard Genetics professor hasn’t forgotten to thank his very devoted team. “I’ve spent the last 10 years figuring this out,” Sinclair told Boston.com. “It almost brings me to tears to think how hard it’s been. There were so many people that didn’t believe in this, that I’m really grateful to the scientists who did stick with us and believe it was right.”
For now, we must wait to see if these studies result in anything substantial. From the looks of it, though, the future looks bright for upcoming generations.
“We’ve got mice. We haven’t published this yet, but just as a heads-up, we’ve got compounds that can take a 2-year-old mouse, which is a pretty old mouse, and reverse its metabolic aging within just a week,” Sinclair told NPR on his upcoming work. “So I’m looking forward to not just delaying aging but even possibly reversing some of it.”
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