How old is this beauty?
Limon starts by refering to what may be the most likely way to increase your potential life span: severe calorie restriction. She goes on to talk about a much more pleasant possible life-extender, red wine and the compound resveratrol. I know which method I prefer.
Recent research suggests that aging as we know it may not be inevitable. We know that some animals do not seem to age such as many cold-water ocean fish, some amphibians and the American lobster continue to grow bigger, are able to reproduce and to live until something kills them. Some people believe that because of the animals that do not seem to age that it could be something in their genes, and possibly in our genes, that controls the pace of aging, and that aging is not the fate of every living thing.
Scientists have discovered that when animals are forced to live on 30 to 40 percent fewer calories than they would normally eat, they become resistant to most age-related diseases that include:
And they also live 30 to 50 percent longer. Judging from the animal studies, calorie restriction slows aging.
How this is, no one knows for sure, nor why aging occurs and what are the underlying genes that preserve vitality and stave off disease.
Few of us humans are capable of restricting our diets by 30 to 40 percent without being constantly hungry. So some scientists began to look for ways to trigger the sirtuin system in action without restricting calories. In 2003, a handful of sirtuin-activating compounds were discovered. Resveratrol – a molecule produced in plants such as red-wine grapes was the most potent.
Resveratrol and other STACs have enhanced the vitality and extended the life span of every species they have been fed to such as:
The maximum life span of the fish increased 59 percent, which is equivalent to a human living to 194 years. These results are remarkable; however, it is unclear if resveratrol works in the same manner in warm-blooded furry animals.
In studies with mice it was found that resveratrol:
•Reduced the risk of death by 30 percent
•The mice treated with resveratrol were leaner and developed a greatly enhanced aerobic capacity
•Their muscles were consuming oxygen more efficiently
•Had greater capacity to generate energy
•The mice could run twice as far without getting tired
•At least for mice, resveratrol was found to be an outstanding performance-enhancing drug
Evidence also indicates that resveratrol may protect against aging-related diseases. In studies around the world, resveratrol protected mice against:
These are the very diseases that reduce most people’s life span. The question of what this all means for humans is still unanswered, yet, could be just as beneficial. Things that are true in mice are often, but not always, true in humans.
Researchers plan many more studies in both animals and in humans in 2007. Some of the first human studies of resveratrol will tell us whether it can help people with either type 2 diabetes or a rare condition called MELAS syndrome that causes brain and muscle destruction in children.
Other good news is that research has started now to find sirtuin activators that have the same effects as resveratrol, but are more potent.
Resveratrol is found in red wine and because of this some people are asking whether they should drink more red wine, or drink red wine to the exclusion of other alcoholic beverages. I personally tried drinking a 6-ounce glass of red wine each night before I went to bed, and felt quite horrible the next day. I do not drink alcohol at all, but was trying this for myself because of all the news I read about the heart health benefits in red wine. I have abandoned the red wine for 10 fluid ounces of 100% grape juice. Most scientific researchers tell us there is not enough resveratrol in red wine to make it a good idea to start drinking it for our health.
Resveratrol tablets and capsules are also available over the counter, but they are of no “proven” value in humans, and they are not manufactured and controlled by the Food and Drug Administration.
Animals that have been given resveratrol treatment are remarkably vital until the end. The studies in animals seem promising. In the future we may be taking resveratrol supplements right along with our daily multivitamins. As of today, however, according to scientific proof, it is still better not to start drinking red wine if you are a non-alcoholic drinker to begin with in the hopes of prolonging your life or having better health. We are probably still safer drinking our 100% grape juice until further studies prove resveratrol in red wine is worth drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Disclaimer: *This article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any kind of a health problem. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your health care provider about any kind of a health problem and especially before beginning any kind of an exercise routine.
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By: Connie Limon -
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Connie Limon, Trilogy Field Representative. Visit nutritionandhealthhub.com and sign up for a weekly nutrition and health tip. The article collection is available as FREE reprints for your newsletters, websites or blog. Visit www.healthylife27.com to purchase an array of superior quality, safe and effective products inspired by nature, informed by science and created to improve the health of people, pets and the planet.