Many research studies have validated the fact that one of the most powerful ways to extend life is to reduce food intake (calories) while still maintaining nutritional needs. Organisms ranging from yeast to mammals experience a much longer and healthier life if they consume just two-thirds of the calories they normally eat. Experiments with rodents, for instance, have increased life span by 50% through dietary caloric restrictions.
Note: Calorie restriction is great in theory but I have found that the average American is not ready to embrace the concept, at least not at this moment in time. 50% if the American population is either overweight or obese.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to mimic the positive effect of calorie restriction without having to change ones diet, by using a dietary supplement. Well, scientists have found a way to do just that. Researchers discovered that Resveratrol, a natural phytonutrient, can mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction. (Resveratrol is a polyphenolic phytonutrient found in the dark, red grape skins, red wine [red grape juice is not as good a source as whole red grapes or wine]. It is also found, in lower quantities, in mulberries and peanuts [especially in boiled peanuts]).
Resveratrol is best known for its suspected role in the “French Paradox”, which is the low incidence of heart disease in the French even though they eat a high fat diet. The “French Paradox” is related to the consumption of red wine.
|Resveratrol Biological Activity
How Resveratrol Works
In order to understand more clearly Resveratrol’s function and longevity we must understand the calorie restriction connection to longevity. Caloric restriction seems to work by stimulating specific genes, now called “Longevity Genes”. Stimulation of these genes seems to be critical in creating specific beneficial life extension effects. Dr. D.C. Sinclair and Dr. L. Guarente at Harvard Medical School and MIT, respectively, and others have determined that resveratrol seems to act by activating the same genes as calorie restriction. Thus, taking resveratrol seems to do the same thing as caloric restriction and does it under normal calorie intake.
Note: I feel that resveratrol is an amazing dietary supplement but it’s not a justification to eat improperly or consumer too many calories. Eating right and exercising everyday is the hallmark of any anti-aging program.
Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC
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